For “casual Friday” (meaning I am feeling uncreative today and very tired), instead of a regular post, I offer you a small selection from my book Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience.
As a lead-in to this piece, I will tell you that, in the book, I was discussing an early part of my transition — feeling genderless, struggling with my identity as a man versus a trans man, and bemoaning the salesclerks at Food ‘R Us who would shake and sweat and appear very disturbed when they couldn’t figure out whether to call me ma’am or sir. And then I met Elyse:
“When I was searching for a birthday present for my sister, I found myself in a very familiar place — the women’s department of the local Foley’s. As I shuffled through the racks of women’s clothing, a salesclerk approached from behind. Perhaps noticing my rounded hips in front of a carousel of blouses, she asked, in some kind of European accent, “Can I help you, ma’am?”
When I turned around, she blinked and said, “Oh, I mean, sir.”
I couldn’t tell where Elyse was from, I only knew that her accent was not of this continent. And neither was her behavior. When I smiled, a dead giveaway of female heritage, she continued unflustered. (more…)
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The Maine Human Rights Commission appears to be pretty progressive. Recently, they ruled in favor of a transgender male-to-female student’s right to use the girls’ restroom at school.
And in May, they ruled in favor of a trans woman’s right to use the women’s restroom at a Denny’s restaurant.
Public restroom issues can get messy for trans people — but most public restrooms are pretty messy, anyway. It’s not like we want to hang out in there. We just want to take care of business and get on with life.
What I’m posting today is a section from my book, Just Add Hormones, that discusses the public restroom issue for trans people (thanks to Abigail Jensen for the link to the stories above).
From Just Add Hormones: (more…)
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Posted in Commentary, Just Add Hormones Excerpts, News, tagged bodies, books, breasts, Facebook, femininity, Internet, Sharon Adams on June 8, 2009 |
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Facebook was in the wrong. They finally figured it out, and they apologized. But the whole mess could have easily been avoided if Western culture — and any culture that sexualizes breasts — took a step back and examined the absurdity behind this fascination — or festishization.
Sharon Adams, a mother of four, is battling breast cancer and decided to post photos of her mastectomy on Facebook as a way to bring attention to the disease and encourage women to get regular checkups. Facebook removed the photos, calling them “sexual and abusive.” After a massive protest from Facebook users, the online social network relented and apologized for their offensive gaff.
But for Sharon Adams, who is bravely battling this disease, Facebook’s initial reaction must have felt like a slap in the face to someone who is trying to use her own misfortune to help others. And to trans men like me, who have had double mastectomies as part of transition, the whole controversy seems absolutely ludicrous.
I remember the first time that I took off my shirt in public after my chest surgery, in a public park that I actually cased out beforehand to make sure it would be as empty as possible before I attempted something that, for the first few decades of my life, would have been illegal. I have written about this experience in my book Just Add Hormones, and I am going to post an excerpt from that section here as a response to this story: (more…)
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