On the Science of Changing Sex

The Silent Transsexual

Posted in Editorial by Kay Brown on September 14, 2020

Historically, “late onset” gender dysphoric people were not considered “true transsexuals” by medical and scientific opinion. (Note: This term was coined by the sexologists, NOT transsexuals themselves.) Only the naturally feminine “early onset” transsexuals were considered thus. However, both taxons were found to be equally gender dysphoric and aided by medical interventions. Indeed the very term “gender dysphoria” was coined by Dr. Norman Fisk in the early ’70s to enable autogynephilic candidates to avail themselves of medical interventions. This later led to the unfortunate conflation and confusion of the two different taxons in the public mind, driven in part by the “late onset” transsexual community themselves.

Today, one can see that many transsexuals have come to understand and acknowledge the reality of the two type taxonomy. A growing number of brave “late onset” transsexuals have come forth to acknowledge both the taxonomy and their own autogynephilic sexuality. A growing number of “early onset” transsexuals have raised their voices to talk about the differences, their own unique experiences, become more visible as a separate population, with very different social and therapeutic needs. This has been a very heartening development.

However, a new and unforseen development has also occurred. Even as transsexuals acknowledge the two very different types, transsexual voices are being shouted down. Even as transsexual kids are being acknowledged and finding greater support in their communities, from their parents, and from more enlightened medical care givers, their voices are being shouted down by an ever growing chorus of people who are NOT transsexual.

I speak of course to the unfortunate social circumstance of having been subsumed in a larger identity of “transgender”.

The term “transgender” was originally coined in the ’60s by Dr. Virginia Prince, a male bodied lifestyle crossdresser, an autogynephile who neither desired nor sought medical interventions to change his body. He coined the term to describe himself, and to differentiate himself, from transsexuals. Yes, the term originally EXCLUDED transsexuals. He also coined the term to differentiate himself from secretive crossdressers, commonly called transvestites, autogynephiles who only occasionally crossdressed, often only partially in women’s lingerie, for sexual gratification and emotional comfort.

But, over the decades, the term was expanded, first to include transvestites, then in the early ’90s, it began to be used to cover “late onset” transsexuals, who had followed a transvestite, to transgenderist (the term used then), to transsexual, career arc. In a way, it made sense that such “late onset” transsexuals could and should be covered by such an umbrella term, given their histories and shared autogynephilic etiology. But sadly, because of the conflation of the two types, this also dragged “early onset” transsexuals under the umbrella, unwillingly and to their detriment, conflating and confusing them with heterosexual transvestites!

But sometime in the last ten to fifteen years, a new phenomena grew. People who were neither “early onset” nor “late onset”… indeed not even gender dysphoric, began to see that transsexuals were fighting for our social, legal, civil rights. We became, in some socially liberal circles, “cool”. And because we’re “cool”, many who felt like “outsiders” took on the superficial trappings and identity of being “trans”, even though they were in no sense gender dysphoric, nor even gender atypical.

This was sometimes accepted by autogynephilic males since most of those who claimed to be “transgender” were also such non gender dysphoric / non-gender atypical “trans” (secretive transvestites).

But, among those who weren’t gender dysphoric nor gender atypical were large numbers of female bodied young people who wanted also to join the “cool kids club”. And as they did so, they diluted the voices of actual transsexual transmen. These transmen began to openly question why these non-transsexual, non-gender dysphoric, non-gender atypical, very often heterosexual girls, should claim to be like them. Thus began a war of words and of ugly epithets as actual transsexuals began to be pushed away from the ‘cool kids lunch table’ by self-identified ‘transgender’ people, vilified with such terms as “trans-medicalist” and “truscum”.

But this wasn’t the end. Now we have entered a new phase where actual transsexual people are being silenced and marginalized by this ever expanding “transgender” community evidenced in the past couple years by the stunningly counter intuitive development in which they are now claiming that the very term that started it all, “transsexual” is “outdated” and even a pejoritive!

That term is NOT a pejoritive to actual transsexuals!!!!

The goal of those who are “transgender” who make this astounding claim is clear: To silence transsexuals.

Remember, only one out of 11,000 people are transsexual, a tiny minority. But in recent surveys, 3% to 6% of teens and twenty-somethings are claiming to be “transgender” or more recently “non-binary”. That’s more than those who are actually gay or lesbian. Thus, the voices of actual transsexuals can be easily drowned out.

If our voices can be shouted down by claiming that there is no difference between those who merely self-proclaim their identity as “trans” and actual transsexuals, then they can lay claim to all the “coolness” and social acceptance that transsexuals have worked so hard over decades to earn.

Addendum 24 December 2020: Lest you think my complaint specious, last night, on twitter, I was “questioned” by one person and attacked by two others, for using the term “transsexual” to describe myself and those like me. The one who questioned me was a gay man who was under the impression that “transsexual” was indeed a pejoritive. The other two were also non-transsexual people, one a non-transwoman who also believed it was pejoritive, and the other was unclear. But that third person also jumped down my throat for using the term “transkid” without a space and the “-ed” suffix in “transgendered”. (How many will now be dinged for using the terms, “transwoman”, “transman”, “transboy”, “transgirl”) For decades, both terms were in use, but the last few years, language policing is being used to identify those who don’t use the “correct” forms; forms that shift with each season; forms which control how the various populations that are mistakenly pushed under the “transgender umbrella” are to be defined and made invisible or silenced. Again, defining that the term “transsexual” is verboten is the same as saying that recognition of transsexuals as a unique condition and especially the knowledge that there are two populations lumped under even that singular term, is also verboten. Ask yourself; who benefits from this language policing and how?

Addendum 9 February 2021: It’s getting worse. I continue to see, and to hear from other transsexuals, that we being told that we should not use the term “transsexual”. I’ve noticed a pattern. I’m more likely to get this insistence from a non-trans “ally”. This is amazing. Non-trans (or “cis-” if you like the term) folks telling transsexuals that the word is outdated and offensive!

Folks, I was a proud co-founding member of the ACLU TRANSSEXUAL Rights Committee in 1980. In the early to mid-90s I was the co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee of TRANSSEXUALS to recognize Alan Hart (an activist group lobbying the Oregon State legislature while simultaneously dealing with a transphobic gay and lesbian political lobbying group that was falsely claiming that an historic transsexual was a self-hating lesbian who felt forced to live as a man due to homophobia, who had been actively throwing transsexuals under the bus, politically). I taught a class on TRANSSEXUAL & Transgender History at the Harvey Milk Institute in 1999-2001. I’ve been writing this blog on the science of TRANSSEXUALITY and transgenderism for eleven years. Am I supposed to abandon my own personal and cultural history because a group of non-trans folk have recently gotten a bee in their bonnet that “transsexual” is a bad word? Its as though being an actual transsexual has somehow become a bad thing. Thus, we are called “truscum” when we insist upon being recognized for who and what we are.

As a transsexual, I will NOT be silenced.

Further Reading:

Lost In The Crowd

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