February 24, 2004

"Transgenders" at SU

NOTE: If you happen to be a faculty member or student at Wells College, I'd be interested to know why you keep linking to this post from your e-mail accounts. Come on, enlighten me.

Seriously, I don't know why you keep coming back here, but I thought I'd inform you that, thanks to visitor stats, I know exactly who you are. How are things in the Psychology Department these days?

I'm not trying to be sinister here, but you're making me awfully suspicious, and I just thought I'd let you know that if I start to hear any crap about how my views don't toe the Party Line, I'll know who's responsible. However, I've already been called a "transphobic bigot" by another visitor, so I probably won't be surprised. Hooray for intellectual diversity!


This story is just too strange to ignore:

Transgender teach-in investigates identity: Forum offers answers and challenges assumptions through six discussions

The bras, stilettos and lipstick came off only hours after they'd been put on. Performers of last Thursday's Totally Fabulous Drag Show gender-bended for only one night.

Yes, you read that right. The school had a "drag show." I believe it was in the student center, actually.

But long after the show ended, many of the show's questions of gender identity remained unanswered, said [the] director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center.

Questions like, "Why the f**k did we just put on a cross-dressing show at a university?"

This year, some campus officials decided to provide an outlet for these questions and answers through a Transgender Teach-In, Monday morning in the Hall of Languages.

Teach-ins are always a good sign of progress. (/sarcasm)

"When I walked away from the show last year, the question I had was, 'Why is this so much fun?'" [she] said. "Why is this so much fun to play with gender and see how gender isn't perfect and how freeing, in many ways, it felt to be in that environment."

Maybe because...uh...you know, I don't think there's an answer to that question that isn't disturbing in some way.

Within its six different sessions...

It's amazing how much time they devote to little subgroups like this. Gotta respect gender diversity!

...the teach-in addressed many of the issues facing those who identify as transgender. The term transgender applies to those whose gender identity does not match the gender assigned at birth.

Biology? What's that?

It applies to transsexuals, drag queens or kings, cross-dressers or gender queers...


...or people who identify as neither male nor female...

You know, there's this handy device called a "mirror" that can help you solve that dilemma.

...said...the graduate assistant at the LGBT Resource Center and graduate student in social work.

In the first session...an associate professor in social work...

What's with all the social workers?

...and [the graduate assistant] discussed the dangers transgender people face while living in jail, including rape, sexual abuse, unsafe conditions and lack of access to hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy? Uh...shouldn't the need for hormones tell them something about their "gender identity?" Like...maybe...it's not what they wish it was?

...[edited] an instructional technology analyst in Project Advance who identifies as transgender...

Why's he using his evil male name, then?

...presented responses from various transgender college students in the second session of the event. Some of the students said they felt very uncomfortable participating in campus organizations for fear of ridicule or felt as though others assumed they were either gay or heterosexual.

Young adults who still can't identify their own gender face ridicule? What kind of world are we living in?!

Two students shared some of their experiences in finding gender neutral bathrooms...

I'm speechless.

...and the process of officially changing their name.

"I have no formal Christian name. I am called 'Exclamation Point.'" (the first person to tell me where that quote originated gets a free box of absolutely nothing)

"I don't always want to be an educator, sometimes I just want to live my life," said...a student at Onondaga Community College and teach-in presenter, who identifies as transgender. "But in a situation like this, I'm happy to do it, if it'll make a difference."

Fight those oppressive gender absolutists!

The third session focused on health care issues facing transgender people, including access to hormone therapy...

That's not health care if they don't need it.

...disrespect or misunderstanding from medical officials...

I can't imagine why that would happen...

...and unfair treatment, such as poorly executed mastectomies.

"Screw cancer patients! You need to hack off these infernal boobies of mine NOW!"

"The problem is that there's been no education," said presenter [edited]an assistant professor of social work. "There's no way of them knowing that these issues exist."

Maybe because they didn't until you freaks started inventing them (yes, I said freaks. Deal with it).

SU can better accommodate the needs of transgender students through six inclusive policies and practice, [the LGBT director] said. It must add gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination policy, provide on-going education and workshops, complete an inventory of what resources currently exist for transgender students, identify what essential elements transgender students need, and encourage faculty to integrate transgender media into their courses.

Hey, I've got a better idea: Why don't we stop treating gender as some sort of nebulous personality trait with no biological basis? That would be a lot simpler than manipulating an entire set of policies because a few people can't decide what their genitals are for.

"We preach diversity, so it'd be good to actually show it in practice, not just on paper," said...a senior sociology and political science major.

This is not diversity. This is idiocy.

Presenters of the fourth session focused on sexuality and gender, saying that many people assume transgender people are gay or lesbian.

At least gays and lesbians can make up their frickin' minds.

But sexual orientation, sexual identity and gender identity are separate entities, said [a] professor of psychology and women's studies at Wells College.

"Gender is whatever we say it is, you heterosexist bigots!"

"Once you become comfortable with yourself, you realize how many people are uncomfortable with you," said [edited,] who transitioned from male to female last year and identifies as a lesbian.

Wouldn't it have been simpler to stay male if you were attracted to women before? Sounds to me like someone just wants to live out a fantasy.

"But all that matters is who I am, not what I am."

Okay, I just decided that I'm actually a retarded wood nymph who is sexually attracted to shrubbery. Do I get a teach-in and a resource center? All that matters is what I think, after all!

Some participants and organizers of the drag show reviewed their experiences in another session and explain how it relates to being transgender.

...The president of the Pride Union who performed as Ginger in the show, said the night of shaving body hair and painting nails was a commentary on gender expression in society.

I feel dirty for having read that.

The performers learned what women must do to meet their gender requirement, and the blending of both male and female gender identity allowed them to see the societal constructs of gender, [edited] said.

"Societal constructs of gender." This is what happens when you create an entire theory based on misconceptions. I guess biological differences between the sexes are socially constructed, too.

"It is fun to mess with people's gender and sexual orientation in a safe environment," [edited] said.

Did you hear that? It sounded like the fabric of society ripping in half!

The teach-in concluded with a documentary called "Just Call Me Kade," following the transition of Kade Collins, a 16-year old female to male. The audience watched as Kade experienced hormone therapy, survived depression and maintained relationships with friends and family.

At 16? Six-friggin-teen? Shouldn't you at least wait until you're considered an adult to go messing with your gender like this?

"Well, you see, the reason I'm your grandfather and not your grandmother is because I was a very confused adolescent. Kinda like that "XFL" tattoo I got. Think before you act, kids!"

"We wanted to end on something more triumphant," said [the] co-chairwoman of the senate of the LGBT committee and associate professor in the writing program. "It makes me tearful, and it makes me happy."

That's really sad.

After attending the teach-in, organizers hope that the campus community may begin to ask questions and consider making changes that could make the university a safe and welcoming place for transgender students.

How is it not? They had six friggin' talks! Some academic classes don't even meet that much!

"My hope is that after all of these conversations and awareness-raising talks, we can't go back to the normal ways of thinking about the LGBT community, and we have a better grasp on resources on transgender people and what's available," [LGBT director] said. "This is something that campuses across the country are dealing with. This is not a phase. It's not going away."

I like how they can take an issue that just started getting attention and pretend that it isn't a phase. I guess the last 50,000 years or so of human history were just full of bad ideas about gender.

This whole "transgender" mindset really disturbs me. People are basically saying that gender has no basis in biology and can be changed at any time, but then they go and do things like hormone therapy and surgery to attain the desired results.

Just another result of the futile search for "utopia." If you don't like reality, create a fantasy world. Then, make fantasy public policy and accuse those who disagree of being intolerant.

It's worked before, and it seems to be working again.

I'll be on the lookout for the "Retarded Wood Nymphs who are Attracted to Shrubbery Resource Center."

Posted by CD on February 24, 2004 03:32 PM
Semi-Intelligent Comments

If someone claimed they were a dog inside a man's body would SU provide a free kennel?

Posted by: Jim at February 24, 2004 08:36 PM

I wouldn't be too surprised if they did. I'm still interested in how tolerant they are of retarded, shrubbery-loving wood nymphs.

(don't ask me how I came up with that, by the way)

Posted by: CD at February 24, 2004 08:48 PM

And yet they will still insist that they were "born that way"....

Damaged goods...

Posted by: Marty at February 26, 2004 08:57 PM

Sad but true, Marty.

"How dare you question me, you bigot! Haven't you heard of the drag queen gene?"

Posted by: CD at February 26, 2004 09:41 PM
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