THIS IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTANDING THIS COMIC: this is part of a serious autobio series I started months back to document my gender transition. These took place months ago. I’d only been on hormones for 5 months.

July 1st, 2016. It seemed to help with being misgendered less, but also I really wanted to wear some goddamn dresses now that I allowed myself to.

If you enjoy my work, you can directly support me and my transition via Patreon. Thank you!




 click here to see the original post this idea was based on

anonymous asked:

But how is your view that different from Dworkins', since youve said that "transness" (idk a better term) is a product of cissexism?

This is something I received earlier when I was talking abt Andrea Dworkin’s work on trans people, and I feel like it’s somewhat relevant to now because I’ve been talking abt transness and radical feminisms that at least in some sense are less antagonistic towards trans people (tho it’s worth noting that Dworkin ended up helping w and positively reviewing Raymond’s Transsexual Empire, so like, obviously there isn’t an insurmountable gap in their theory).

So, to give a quick summary of Dworkin’s view: she thought that transsexual people were a product of a patriarchal world. However, individual transsexuals shouldn’t be attacked, and should be given access to medical transition; the goal, however, is working towards a world with no patriarchy where no one will have to physically transition.

When i say that trans-ness is contingent upon cissexism to conceptually exist, I don’t mean the same thing as this. This might seem confusing, so I will explain.

I don’t think that there is any way to accurately say why trans people exist: both the radical feminist and the trans medicalist approaches towards trans people are speculative at best, thinking that they can properly account for the etiology of *all trans people* in a way that I think 1) is unprovable and 2) doesn’t make room for the fact that many people biomedically transition for a great deal of reasons. Whether trying to find a completely social cause (that might be remedied thru activist intervention) or a medical cause (that might be remedied thru early medical intervention), the goal of both is the eventual normalization of bodies to look like cis bodies in an idealized future.

I realize that my argument is complicated or at least somewhat unintuitive (it even is just for me to put into words) but hear me out.

When i say that trans-ness depends on cissexism to exist, what I mean isn’t that people do biomedical transition because of cissexism or patriarchy, but that the gendered behavior and embodiments are read as trans/deviant from their cis counterparts only because of cissexism. A trans woman’s body is only seen as an atypical woman’s body (at best) because of cissexism, in a context without cissexism, people would see a trans man’s body as an unremarkable male body, or something akin to meeting someone of slightly statistically unusual height/eye color/handed-ness. It wouldn’t have a bearing on whether someone was *really* their gender or not.

One can expand this onto all of gender in a way: no one is saying that the end of gender as a system means that people won’t have bodies with vaginas or penises, but that that framing will be a relatively trivial component of someone’s social identity.

With trans people, a lot of people want to believe that in a perfect world, our embodiment would cease to exist because there would be no sort of social necessity to change it in order to be seen as ‘really’ that gender. I feel like this isn’t inherent to a social constructionist viewpoint. let me explain

Most people approach this in a “well, in a post-patriarchal future, biomedical transition would be like any other form of body modification” and I think that that is somewhat trivializing to just how holistic biomedical transition (esp hormones) are. I’ve had lots of piercings but like, that’s not the same thing as how estrogen at this point seems to work better with my personality and mental state than testosterone. i think it’s fully possible to believe in some sort of inherent call towards transition (religious, innate, whatever) and still acknowledge that the framing and categorization of gender is an unjust and socially created system of domination. This also feels more judicious to me because it doesn’t frame trans embodiment as some sort of pitiable allowance until we *really* fix everything and make it so cissexual forms of embodiment are truly brought back as the politically right forms.

So, these people in the future, regardless of when/how they biomedically transition (because they want to, because they feel they need to) would do such things but it wouldn’t be framed as ‘transition’ because the categories of gender would be less rigidified, and their embodiment wouldn’t be considered 'deviant’ from some sort of Gold Standard of cis embodiment. I think that this feeling of wanting to transition doesn’t necessarily have to be articulated as 'dysphoria’ because I find bodily dysphoria to be rooted in the social systems of cissexism, a sort of trauma response to the inability to escape one’s assignment/embodiment and the way that assignment is used to disrespect and devalue us.

In any case, I realize this is kinda long and perhaps seems unintuitive, but what I’m saying is that we can imagine a world without trans-ness (that is, the categorization where we are seen as a 'less than’ version of someone else’s body) while *not* saying that that means that people with our bodies will necessarily have to not exist in that world. The behaviors (that is, transitioning behaviors) and bodies that we have would exist, but the sort of framing it as an identity (imposed from outside) would not.

One last thing: I find the argument of a 'world without gender’ to be interesting because many people seem to treat this as if people will all forget what it ever was, and that we will I guess destroy all artifacts of a world that did have gender? That seems strange to me: we can’t return to a world where gender never existed and that we don’t have the history of gender that we do, but the goal is to move beyond structuring our society off of that as a basic social/identity division.

anyhow those are some thoughts as to why what I’m saying feels different from Dworkin. I hope this was helpful, and not too boring or unintuitive.