In 2009 Dr Charles Moser entered the discussion about Blanchard’s Typology of transsexualism. It is worth revisiting Moser because his mischievous intervention not only hindered the progress of the science of transsexualism, but damaged some people, while favouring others.
As you may know, Blanchard separates male-to-feminine (MtF) transsexuals into those attracted to their own sex from their earliest arousal, and those who are either not attracted to their own birth sex or who develop such an attraction, usually partially, in later life. These are called, using Blanchard’s terminology, ‘HomoSexual Transsexuals’ or HSTS and ‘Autogynephilic Transsexuals’ or AGPs. (We will later quote studies that call the latter ‘non-homosexual’.)
Blanchard’s underlying thesis is that both these forms of transsexualism are stimulated by male sex drive. MtF HSTS are, essentially, seen as extremely feminine homosexual males. This is relatively easy to understand and this type was formerly known as the ‘Primary’ or ‘True’ type. The other type is much more complex and shares an aetiology with fetishistic cross-dressing men. These individuals are romantically or sexually attracted to themselves, but as women.
I am an MtF Homosexual Transsexual (HSTS), who, having socially transitioned just after my 23rd birthday, some 30 years ago, underwent Sex Reassignment Surgery at age 25; this is how I see the issue. I will attempt to be as candid as possible about what is honestly a deeply personal and private part of my life.
I am doing so because there are a great deal of myths and misunderstandings surrounding the topic of sex with transsexuals and what they do or do not enjoy and or what they do or will not do during sex and about the men who have sex with them. This article is written from my own perspective based upon my own experiences and in addition recounting what I have been told by other HSTS whom I have known personally.
Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) children, young people who have not yet reached puberty but who persistently show cross-sex behaviours, are, today, a hot-button issue. I strongly advocate a neutral ‘wait and see’ approach, in line with Dr Blanchard and WPATH.
Parents should realise that it is quite normal for children to indulge in cross-sex role-play; it’s one way that they find out who they really are. Nearly all will move on to another form of play very quickly. Boys liking pink are not trans, nor are girls liking blue. Not all men are masculine and many women are not very feminine. This does not make them trans. Loads of boy children like playing with dolls and plenty of girls like cars and motorcycles; yes there are distinguishable, statistical trait characteristic differences that allow us to be quite sure that the bases of gender are indeed innate, but these are not absolutes at all and there is huge individual variation.
As a fully transitioned transsexual I have often heard the phrase “Gender Identity”, in fact it is contained within the name of the disorder with which I was diagnosed, but never have I ever stopped to consider the validity or accuracy of this term until recently. In a recent comments thread on a Youtube video where a somewhat vocal and clearly autogynephilic trans activist was constantly making the argument for her validity as a “real woman” based upon the existence of her self-declared “female identity”. The question “Do you have a gender identity?” was posited to me by another HSTS woman on the thread.
My initial response was to say “No or if I do I am unaware of it”. However, on reflection it seemed to me that question required a deeper examination rather than just a cursory dismissal. Also it raised the question for me that, if I do have a gender identity, what if any part did it play in my decision to transition?
To understand the development of trans culture in the West, you need to understand the development of the contemporary face of male homosexuality, The New Gay Man. He’s not as old as you think.
We have become used, in the West, to a particular type of homosexual men: outwardly masculine, good-looking, well-dressed, often cultured. It has become such a commonplace that today it would be easy to think that this representation of male homosexuality, the New Gay Man, has always existed and is, indeed, the only such presentation. In fact, the aim of many gay activists is to persuade the public that the New Gay Man is all homosexual men have ever been. But this is nonsense.
After an exchange on Twitter, it has become obvious that even today, people do not realise that there are two distinct types of ‘transgender’ in the West. So I thought I’d recap. This is the first in a series of short articles that will explain what is going on.
Okay. So, maybe you just woke up after a wild night, looked over the bed and there beside you, happily dreaming away without a care in the world and looking as though butter wouldn’t melt, was a ladyboy; or, if you prefer, a transsexual. Possibly you’re just considering doing this. Maybe you did already, liked it, and are wondering about yourself. Maybe you’re in a relationship with a ladyboy and still confused. So I’m going to answer the question, ‘Am I gay for having sex with a ladyboy’?
This is a pretty popular question, as you’ll see from a casual Google of the terms, but almost none of the answers make any sense. They’re either written by people who have no experience of transsexuals, ladyboys, bonecas — call them as you will, they’re all the same — or they’re written by people with a hidden agenda, trying to promote a particular political point of view.
On Sunday March 12th we went to watch the ‘Mr Lady’ beauty pageant at Robinson’s Place, Malalos, here in the Philippines. These pageants are a regular and important feature of life here.
During the event, an award was presented for Most Supportive Boyfriend. The winner took both his beloved and the crowd by surprise when he proposed to her on bended knee. The crowd went absolutely wild!
These events are very much family affairs and each of the contestants was supported by a strong turnout of highly partisan cousins, siblings and parents. It’s just good fun and everybody has a great time.
Gender fluidity has come much under the spotlight recently. It has been suggested that there are ‘thousands of genders’, ’98 genders’, that ‘gender is a spectrum of gradations’ and even that it doesn’t exist. Yet if you walk down the street in any part of the world, you will see two genders. So how can this be?
This baffling conundrum is what you get when people don’t do enough research. In fact, BOTH the binary model and the gender-spectrum model are valid; but their relationship is being wilfully misunderstood.
In large parts of the world, but best documented in South America and Asia, the principal gender division is not between men and women but between men and ‘not-men’. I have referred to this in other pieces and it was well described by Prof Don Kulick in his 1998 book ‘Travesti’.
There are two distinct types of ‘trans woman’ — transsexuals and autogynephilic transvestites. These are people born male who present as women. Other than that, the two types have no similarity to each other. However, this has been deliberately confused by individuals in one of these types, to advantage themselves at the expense of the other, and also to harm women. This has caused widespread misunderstanding. We need a field guide.