You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.

“So, have you had the surgery yet?”

“Are you still equipped?”

“Do you still have a penis?”

I have, at one time or another, been asked those questions by near strangers. I’m going to start by saying that such questions, no matter how innocent or ignorant the askers’ intentions, are hurtful and rude. There is no excuse for behaving in such a way. If you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and ask them about their genitalia, then it’s no more appropriate (and you’re no more entitled to an answer) just because I’m a trans woman.

We gender people every minute of every day—that’s a man; that’s a woman; that person in the suit with the hat is a man; that person in the dress is a woman, no wait, it’s a man. We identify and categorize people into gender categories without needing to see what’s in their pants or under their skirts. So, if you’re capable of gendering every other human being you meet without having to grope their genitals, then you’re capable of figuring out that I’m a woman. There’s no need to ask questions— my gender presentation, like my gender identity, is unambiguous.

I’ve had people ask why I don’t put MtF on my social networking profiles under gender, or why don’t I have a, I don’t know, a disclaimer or something in my profile about being transsexual. You really want to know why? It’s because that’s not anyone’s business except for the people with whom I’m intimate. I don’t need a billboard, a private conversation with the right person will usually suffice.

You see, this would still be a point of contention for me whether I were pre-op, post-op or non-op: it is simply no one’s business unless I choose to make it otherwise. Just because I post pictures of myself in various states of undress on Twitter doesn’t mean that we’re lovers, doesn’t mean that we’re friends with benefits, and certainly doesn’t mean I’ll spread my legs for you. Even if we are friends, that still doesn’t mean I’ll let you fuck me. So, if your chances of getting me in bed are somewhere between slim and none, does it matter whether I’ve got Cthulu himself in my panties?

I hope and expect my friends would respect the dignity of every person, whether those friends or those people are cis, trans, non-binary, het, gay, queer, lesbian, bi, pan or… If you believe a person’s value lies only inside their underwear, or in who they’re attracted to, then I’m the wrong person, hell, the wrong friend for you.

That information doesn’t headline my social networking profiles because while I may be a trans woman, that is only one descriptor, one facet of my life. It is not the totality of my being. I am not a fetish or a hard limit. My gender identity is completely female, hence the capital F next to my name. I’m a woman where it counts.