On the Science of Changing Sex

The Silencing of The Transkids, Part 2

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on January 12, 2018

Or, My Tribe, Right Or Wrong

There is a behavior that is common in human societies of preferring those like themselves.  In modern cant we call this tendency ‘tribalism’.  This extends to liking and preferring that people become more like themselves and believing that their way of life is better than others.  This is the flip side of nearly all prejudice.  This tendency means that if an outgroup can’t become like the ingroup because of genetic / biological barriers like the color of one’s skin or one’s sex, then it leads to racism or sexism.  However, if the difference can be (or simply perceived to be) merely one of lifestyle or choice, then it can develop into an insistence that members of the outgroup must change their lifestyle or choices.  If the difference develops from within an ingroup to become a subgroup or to join an outgroup, these individuals are considered ‘traitors’ to the ingroup.

An example of this prejudice and it’s flip side is the need to convince others to either join in the ingroup (e.g. religious evangelism) or to punish those who leave the ingroup (e.g. death sentences for apostates).

Such is the experience of LGBT folk.

Homophobia is due in part to the anger and need to punish the ‘traitorous’ action of not being heterosexual, of becoming a member of a despised outgroup.  This is why families can be the source of the more virulent hate that LGBT folk can experience.

This feeling of being betrayed and of loathing of those who fail to join or remain in the ingroup is also part of transphobia, including by non-trans members of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities, in fact, especially by gay and lesbian people.

It is well-known now, and often uncomfortably recognized within the gay and lesbian community, that such gay and lesbians were quite gender atypical as children and many remain somewhat gender atypical as adults (excluding their gender atypical sexual orientation).  To some, this recognition and memory of their own childhood before they accommodated to the Western ideal of gender typical acting Gay and Lesbian identities, they look to the androphilic MTF and gynephilic FtM transkids and insist that they too accommodate to that same ideal, regardless of natural proclivities and desires.  After all… they did.  Quite literally, they see transkids in transition as traitors to the modern Western gay and lesbian identity, their tribe.  And their tribe is best.

To these gay and lesbian tribalists, transkids who persist and transition are either victims of an imagined “trangender ideology” or are perverse ‘sinners’ against the true faith of Western Gay and Lesbian lifestyle.  They are truly apostates whose voice must be silenced or devalued.  On the flip side, desisters and detransitioners are seen as having ‘seen the light of the true faith’ and are upheld as proof that gender atypical children can escape, while persisters have been led astray by, that evil “transgender ideology”.  Some even carry banners at Pride events claiming that “transgender erases lesbians”.

When I hear these claims, I can’t help but hear another voice from another time, that perhaps these gay and lesbian folks are too young to remember?  I hear Anita Bryant and other homophobes of the late ’70s calling to “Save Our Children”, claiming that gays and lesbians are a danger to children and are “recruiting” otherwise “normal” children into the “homosexual lifestyle” which is part of the “homosexual agenda”.  I hear the exact same ‘phobic lies but today it is from gays and lesbians and their hatred is poured out onto transfolk.

“transgender ideology” <=> “homosexual agenda”

If this seems like it is hyperbolic and specious, one only has to read the comments from many commentators, especially a certain subset of lesbians, that very specifically state that such “transgender ideology” has falsely convinced young gender atypical (i.e. butch) lesbians to believe that they must be transgender.  They also insist that feminine MTF transkids should be taught that not only is OK to be a feminine man (never mind that modern Gay male culture is extremely femmiphobic and gay men won’t be that happy to hear that) but that they should be gender atypical gay men and not trans, not transition to living as women.  That is to say, that this is seen as a cultural war between two tribal identities, two religious identities.

Another example of silencing or devalued is to portray the young transitioning transkids of Iran as doing so only to escape religious discrimination against gays and lesbians.  Such discrimination exists, but the number of such transsexuals transitioning is on the same order as those transitioning in Thailand and FAR fewer than the number of gay and lesbian people in the general population.  This false portrayal of “forced transition” is another example of tribalism using the spector of forced religious conversion coupled with the horror of unwanted body modification.  But the truth is that these young people’s lived experienced is denied and their voices silenced, replaced by their own.

It has always amazed and irritated me that others who don’t experience extreme gender dysphoria tend to tell persisters that it is all because of our false consciousness, patriarchy, internalized homophobia, and/or ‘transgender ideology’.  To folk who don’t like persisting transkids…

Desistence is real.  Persistence is real.  Listen to both.

Further Reading:

Historic Transphobia in the Gay and Lesbian Communities

Detransitioners are not the enemy

Further External Reading:



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