"I do not identify as transgender! Transsexual people are unique within that very large transgender group"
Written by Nichole Shannon in January 2010
She communicates some of my sentiments very well, so I'm copying and pasting it as a post.
I do not identify as transgender. Transsexual people are unique within that very large transgender group for several obvious reasons. It does not make us any better than anyone else but we do have much different medical and often personal and social needs or desires as opposed to CD (cross dressers) or TV's (transvestites). I do not identify as transgender. Not in any militant or disrespectful way to the transgender community. I am simply a woman or trans woman when necessary. There is strength in numbers and I respect people for being who they want to be. But, I do believe at times the transgender umbrella does not and cannot address all the needs of everyone lumped into that category. It does not fit. I know a growing number of transsexual men and woman that feel the same way.
Most often we are simply looking for meaningful dialog to help us understand ourselves or each other better. As we all search for our "fit" in this world it is good to know how others similar to ourselves feel. And to express our discomfort with something not to be hurtful or degrading but to help educate each other so that we may come to some mutually agreeable position one day.
Hopefully in a respectful and discursive way. …One of the biggest issues we trans people face is the constant need to lump us all in a single homogeneous category. That is just fundamentally wrong. I know this is going to cause a shit storm but so be it.
I do not want to be lumped in the same category as cross dressers and transvestites. We are not the same. My life is neither a sexual fetish nor a lifestyle. We do not have the same social, medical or political needs in many ways. YES we all deserve respect and equal protections under the law. I support that and I get that so lets move on.
The big question is how does the TS crowd address their unique and often very profound differences as an individual group without alienating ourselves from the rest of the LGBT community. It's confusing to many when you blur the lines of gender and sexuality and fetishism in the same conversation.
Diversity or being different is a wonderful thing. I like a colorful world.
We all have valid points in this discussion. Labels suck. We all interpret terminology in varying ways and identify in as many varying ways. I think I can safely say we all just want to be ourselves and comfortable about discussing who we are when appropriate.
How to do that is often difficult as one person identifies as a Trans-something where another ID's simply a woman or man or a little of both. The point that keeps being made and I feel attacked too often is that many of us in whatever group we identify or would rather not be identified in are often very uncomfortable or made to feel uncomfortable for expressing how we feel about said categorization.
I wonder if anyone of the activists ever wonder why so many transsexual men and women go stealth or non-disclosure? Or in this case don't wish to be regarded as transgender. Forget about any surgical side of this for a moment. I am not an elitest nor do I think myself any better than anyone else. But I can say from my experiences and in talking with other men and women like me that we are driven out of the transgender community. Yup I said it.
Why? Because we are not comfortable with the establishment. We are not comfortable with being told we are A or B and we have the same needs a C. Yes I do feel slighted when I get compared to a CD or TV. Everyone agrees labels suck. They do have their good intentions. But unfortunately it dose not work for everyone it is intended to support. And when people speak out against or simply in contrary to that they are chastised and cast upon the rocks as traitors to the greater cause. And they quickly exit the TG community.
The TG community is divided and will probably always be that way. Maybe because it its too broad a term covering sexuality and gender. It is unfortunate the TG community eats its own. It's even more unfortunate we still do not understand each other very well all too often. We may be unite in cause but not in how are lives are lived.
Most of the transsexual people I know now did not gravitate towards hyper masculine careers. I know I did not. Yes many of us have our moments. I am a artist, writer, musician and programmer. But that is not really important. The point I believe Ashely wants to make and I too is that as we have said. We are not all the same. We cannot all be lumped into the same categories and generalized. And all of our lives are certainly not the same. This is problematic when such a large and diverse group of people is herded into one coral.
The Trans movement is gaining ground worldwide and so much change is in process. So many good things are happening. We need to stay focused but, I wonder if it is not time to take a small step back and look at how we can provide more focused support on the smaller or more specific group's needs."