TV Tropes about Gender, Sex, and Trans Topics

By , September 29, 2009 11:26 pm

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a bit of an obsession with TV Tropes, with tropes defined as “devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.” It’s as great a time-killer as WikiPedia, with more mass media and less actual “knowledge.” In addition to describing the trope, each page also has a list of comics/books/movies/shows/etc that demonstrate the trope (and often have snarky commentary as a nice bonus). Basically, it’s this.

Anyway, I’ve been bookmarking TV Tropes pages about gender, sexuality, and trans issues. As a culture-related site with a page about the Whateley universe, they have some good pages that seemed like they were worth sharing.

We’ll start with Transsexual. Their definition –  “people who are not at all happy with the sex they were born with (more clinically, whose gender identity is out of whack with their biological sex)” – actually isn’t too bad. They also go on to differentiate between transgender, transsexual, transvestite, and so-on.

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Sex, and the effects of hormones (pt 2)

By , September 28, 2009 9:56 pm

In Sex, and the effects of hormones (pt 1), I gave some background about how I related to myself pre-hormones and pre-transition. This post is a continuation along those lines, and my thoughts on how things have changed since going on hormones. It’s a bit more explicit than the previous post (which was already explicit) so consider yourself warned.

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Helen Boyd is wrong about ‘Cisgender’

By , September 26, 2009 6:11 pm

I’m a bit late on this, but Helen Boyd recently posted her thoughts on the whole ‘cisgender’ usage debate. From her post (selected quoting)

First, I’m going to claim a difference between cisgender & cissexual. Cisgender, the problem seems to me, is not the easy opposite of transgender. Cisgender implies, or means, or could mean (depending on who you talk to), that someone’s sex and gender are concordant. So your average butch woman, who is not trans, or is, depending on how she feels about it (see Bear Bergman), is now somehow cisgender. So is someone like me. So is a femme-y gay man who maybe performs a more gender normative masculinity for his job. That is, those of us who have variable genders, who maybe are gender fluid or gender neutral but who don’t identify as trans, are now somehow cisgender.

& Honestly, that’s bullshit. There’s a reason I use GVETGI to describe myself = Gender Variant Enough To Get It, is what it stands for.

Telling me, & other partners whose lives are profoundly impacted by the legal rights / cultural perceptions of trans people, that we are “not trans” implies that we are also not part of the trans community. I’ve been saying for years now that we are. When trans people are killed, harassed, not hired, fired due to discrimination, denied health care, etc. etc. etc., their loved ones suffer along with them. Their families, their lovers, their kids especially. We are not just “allies.” We are vested, dammit, & a part of the trans community, so when “cisgender” comes to mean, or is used to mean, “not part of the trans community,” we are once again left out in the dark.

Um, what? She’s made two huge leaps, neither of which I really agree with.

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Even More Random Links!

By , September 26, 2009 5:44 pm

Definitely Worth Reading

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A reminder about password-protected posts

By , September 25, 2009 6:52 pm

As mentioned in my ‘About’ page, you can get passwords to the protected posts – mostly about sex, sexuality, and the like – by emailing me at blog [at] fridaythang [dot] com and providing some sort of evidence that you’re a real person.

Sex, and the effects of hormones (pt 1)

By , September 25, 2009 12:03 am

I think it’s false to say transitioning allows you to experience the world “as a man and a woman.” While is has given me insight into how those around me treat people they perceive as men and women, I never 100% thought of myself as a man and am not 100% confident of myself as a woman – I would say I’ve only rarely experienced the world “as a man” or “as a woman” to begin with.

(Fortunately, the insight on how people see me has mostly been “Wow, I’m surrounded almost entirely by really awesome people who basically don’t treat me any differently.”)

However, transitioning has given me the opportunity (or inevitability, depending on your point of view) to experience the world hormonally as a man and a woman. At least, that’s what my endocrinologist tells me, seeing as I had normal testosterone levels and now have normal estrogen levels. Some of the effects of that have been the standard or expected stuff: heightened emotions, redistribution of body fat, loss of muscle (particularly upper-body muscle), etc. And as I’ve said before, “heightened emotions” means I cry easier, yes, but I also laugh easier. I used to really pride myself on being able to keep a straight face, and it’s much harder – often impossible – now that I’ve been on hormones for two years.

What no one really mentioned (at least, no one I’ve really been able to find) is how all those hormones effect your sex drive, sexuality, and experience of sex.

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Trans Form Definitions

By , September 23, 2009 2:24 pm

Note: Trans Form is the title of the one-woman show I’m working on, which will go up the second weekend of December in Chicago. I’m considering having little definition explanations throughout the show – because right now I really have no through-line or arc – as a way of linking pieces together.

Trans (prefix)

  1. Used with the meanings “across,” “beyond,” “through,” “changing thoroughly”
  2. Chemistry. a prefix denoting a geometric isomer having a pair of identical atoms or groups on the opposite sides of two atoms linked by a double bond

Trans (noun)

  1. A truncated version of transgender or transexual individual
  2. An umbrella term referring to those who are differently gendered

“She identifies as trans because she identifies as a woman, even though she was assigned ‘boy’ at birth.”

Form (noun)

  1. The shape of a thing or person
  2. A body, esp. that of a human being
  3. A standardized document to be filled out my
  4. Procedure or conduct, as judged by social standards

“It is considered poor form to refer to a trans woman – some who identifies as female – as a man. Also, it means you’re a rude jerk.”

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Please Donate!

By , September 21, 2009 11:03 pm

As some of you may have noticed, a “Donate” link appeared a few weeks ago along the top of The Thang Blog. From that page:

Donations – of any amount – are always appreciated. But, you may ask, what would your donations be going towards?

In addition to being a blogger (a hopefully interesting blogger at that!) I am a performance artist. My most recent piece, Ares and Aphrodite, was featured this past November at Links Hall in Chicago as part of a larger mentorship program I was involved in, led by the fabulous Tim Miller. The piece was an exploration of my experiences growing up and living as a transgender woman, and was very well-received. The script is available here, with video of the performance itself here and here.

I’m currently working on expanding that twenty minute piece into a full hour of theatre, and I’m fortunate enough to be returning to Links Hall this December to share my expanded work. Every penny you donate will go toward that end, helping me cover the $1,550 in space rental fees, printing costs, technical contractors, and the many other costs associated with producing innovative and exciting theatre.

I’ve already raised over half the money I need for this performance. Unfortunately, I’ve already spent even more. Please donate today!

  • Donate One Dollar to pay for the printing cost of a single  poster
  • Donate Five Dollars to pay for show makeup
  • Donate Twenty-Five Dollars to pay for props
  • Donate Fifty Dollars to pay for a lighting designer
  • Donate One Hundred Dollars to pay for poster design costs
  • Donate Two Hundred Dollars to pay for a photographer
  • Donate Eight Hundred Dollars to pay for space rental for the show

As of September 1, 2009, I have received support from the following generous donors and organizations:

Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Help support my art!
I’m just over 50% toward the $1,550 I need to finance my December performance

Photo shoot pictures!

By , September 20, 2009 8:11 pm

I’ll write about the experience later, and these are only the two the photographer sent over as a “how do these look?” but I’m so excited about how they came out! The first set, of me on the stairs, I think has some other good pictures that I’m looking though, I think the picture posted below may be the only good shot. (Not that I’m complaining!)


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Same-sex relationships, straight people, and Facebook

By , September 18, 2009 11:08 am

Last month, Daisy posted about straight people – usually women – “in a relationship” with people of the same gender. From the comments:

I’m quite sure that these women aren’t trying to trivialize lesbian relationships — I just think that’s the result. In order to have people I don’t know well take seriously my listing on FB as “in a relationship” with my girlfriend, I need to also list myself as “interested in women.” I find this annoying, because I’m not interested in anyone but my girlfriend. If the majority of female/female relationship pairings on FB weren’t jokes, no one would assume mine was a joke too.

While I hadn’t really considered the nature of Facebook relationships before, I agree that placing non-romantic same-sex relationships on Facebook on the same footing as romantic relationships has the ultimate effect of diluting those actual romantic relationships.

Earlier this week, I was at a bar with some friends and one of them had to go outside for a few minutes for a phone call. Someone asked who she’d been talking with and she said, “Oh, my wife.” She and I had talked about this a while ago, before Daisy’s post, because I noticed on Facebook that she and this friend were listed as “Married.”

She’d said that their relationship was really that close, that they were much more intimate than mere friends, and that – no – the weren’t actually romantically involved; they both identify as ‘straight.’

I didn’t really give it much thought at the time but, because of Daisy’s post, I’ve reconsidered. This friend and I are actually on pretty close footing in terms of how we view feminism and sexism in American culture, and have had good discussions about how to deal with sexist jokes made by friends (or friends of friends). I’d kind of like to bring this discussion up, and maybe I will when I see her this weekend, but I’m not sure how, or what specifically I’d hope to accomplish.

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