People do not ‘become’ transsexual. They just are. And all the abuse in the world can’t change that.
Transwomen are assaulted, insulted, vilified, denied their existence and human rights, and murdered, every day, but that’s not what makes them transsexual. Although transwomen are disproportionally the victims of assault, we now know that their gender, which is a function of their attraction to men, is innate. Assaults cannot cause innate attractions, by definition. And by the same definition, the hatred and abuse the patriarchy throws at them will not unmake one transwoman.
Rape, which is one form of assault, is not about sex, it is about subjugation and control. Women, trans people, gay men are raped by men because they don’t conform to the kind of stereotypes that ignorant men (by and large) think should apply to everyone. Trans people are raped because they are trans. It doesn’t ‘make them’ trans.
To put that another way, people are raped by the agents of the patriarchy because the patriarchy desires conformity, detests women and utterly loathes those whom it sees as rejecting it — which transwomen, by definition, are doing. These individuals destroy the very basis of the assumed binary that the patriarchy is based on: two sexes with two prescribed, concomitant genders. The whole of life decided by whether you have an ‘inny’ or an ‘outy’ at birth.
It is this that defines one’s status in the patriarchal pecking order: outy — highest status; inny, not so much. The patriarchy is predicated on insatiable misogyny and it expresses its anger at the challenge to it that transwomen represent by pathologising them, insulting, beating, raping and killing them, and by attempting to deny not only their right to exist but their very existence itself.
This anger is meted out on the victims in the most horrific ways imaginable: it goes way beyond rape, which is bad enough. Transwomen are beaten, stoned, set on fire; they are shot, stabbed, beaten to death with shovels, drowned in toilet bowls. They are suffocated, scalped, have their eyes gouged out and are strangled. Their bodies are dumped in the desert, thrown in the trash, left on the street. These attacks do not ‘make people trans’. They are hate crimes that happen because people are trans.
Transwomen are tortured and murdered by complete strangers, by the police, by the military, by religious authorities. If they run afoul of the law — even in the case of those seeking asylum in the US because their lives are in danger at home — they are incarcerated in male prisons where they are repeatedly, serially raped and may be killed. In 2012, in Dubai, a young transwoman, after being arrested for being trans, was raped not only by the other prisoners but the police themselves, and was then hired out to other men to be raped, under the watchful eyes of her jailers. She escaped to tell her story; she was one of the very lucky ones.
Yet this year, when Jennicet Gutiérrez dared to heckle President Obama about the shocking abuse of trans people by the US government she was shouted down and, tellingly, amongst the most shrill voices in her denunciation were those of ‘gay’ men. The clear signal, now finally out in the open: the ‘gay’ movement couldn’t care less about transwomen. It has achieved its end, now to hell with the rest.
Yet if anything, the success of ‘gay’ men in achieving the patriarchal recognition they have so long campaigned for, has seen an upsurge in transphobic hate crime, especially in the United States. The ongoing toll of transphobic murder — that is, for just being transsexual — worldwide, is hard to determine but it is known that it is at least 300 or so every year. One might have thought that ‘gay’ men might be ready to lend their shoulders to the wheel and support transsexuals in harm’s way. Early indications are that we shall wait a long time to see that.
Trans lives are ended by those closest to them too: by their lovers, especially, by those they called their friends and perhaps most horrifically, by their immediate family: in 2014 in Rio de Janeiro an eight-year old girl called Alex confessed to her father that she was transsexual and he beat her to death. Can you imagine the terror of this poor, innocent little girl, savagely murdered by the man she had most right to expect would protect her? I can’t. But that is what transphobic violence does: it kills trans people, it doesn’t cause them to be.
One of the saddest things about the litany of hatred that is levelled at transwomen by the patriarchy is the role women play in it. In the murder of Gwen Araujo in 2002 in California, the court heard how the fatal attack was instigated by other women present, who were not TS. Gwen’s murderers were convicted, but these women were never tried. I have personally seen women deliberately and offensively misgender transsexuals — and misgendering is the first step towards violence.
There are, according to the established science, two distinct aetiologies of people born male who become women. The first used to be called ‘True’ transsexuals but are now often called ‘Blanchard HomoSexual Transsexual’ (HSTS) or ‘Early Onset Androphile Transsexual’ (EOTS). This is overwhelmingly the world majority of male-to-female transsexuals. They represent around 1% of population.
(The other type, Pseudo transsexuals or ‘Blanchard autogynephiles’ (AGP) are completely different. They do indeed ‘become transgender’ as a result of a complex paraphilia which leads them to be attracted to the image of themselves as women. Typically this is reinforced by many years of masturbation while cross-dressed. But while these individuals — think Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner — may ‘live as women’ full time, they are almost never the victims of violence and indeed, frequently prey on both true transsexuals and women. While this is, in world terms, a tiny minority mainly found in white middle class Anglo-Saxon culture, it has become very obvious in the West because its activists are articulate and domineering men — who happen to be wearing dresses. They are outside the scope of this article, since they are neither generally at risk nor truly transsexual.)
True transsexuals realise that they are strongly sexually and romantically attracted to men while they are very young, typically long before puberty. Their development into women is a result of this. Gender is a set of learned behaviours, so it follows that a person born male can learn to be a women. Some little girls grow up into women, and some little boys do too — and the stimulus, at least for the boys, is their attraction to men. They are typically so bad at being boys that it’s a ridiculous effort for them and they become depressed and miserable. Being girls allows them to rid themselves of all the self-loathing that is so common amongst ‘gay’ men, who deny their inner femininity in order to access male privilege — and know that they are selling themselves out. Yet the process of transsexuals being true to themselves is not one of ‘becoming’ but of revealing.
One does not ‘become’ a true transsexual, any more than I ‘became’ white. It is not made by domestic influence, parental behaviour, peer pressure, fashion or lifestyle. It is a function of sexual attraction, and we know that this is innate. A transsexual woman is a person born male who reveals, through growing up into a woman, that her sexual attraction is a woman’s, and like many other young women, she makes herself as beautiful as she can to attract male lovers.
Being attacked doesn’t make boy children transsexual, because no matter how they may present, or if they are true to their natures or not, they have and always will have a woman’s sexuality,which is entirely innate — and that is what makes them transsexual.
But not doing something about these attacks, or worse, condoning them, does make you an abuser of the weakest in society and an agent of the patriarchy.
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Copyright 2015 Rod Fleming's World