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 Topic: Homosexual Genders?

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Muffin  



Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 3


Posted: 5 Nov 2005, 1:13 am    Post subject: Homosexual Genders? Reply with quote

Ok. I wasn't sure if I should put this here or in the history problem but I think it fits better here. This is a serious post, not a post meant to get people upset, although I'm sure it will do that. As people where I'm at are very upset. I'm hoping folks can help me out with a small, *that's putting it lightly,* problem I'm having.

Without getting into it all, I'm a homosexual female who has never identified as a woman. Part of the reason for this is because my first 6-8 years I was socialized as a male, my mother attempting to eradicate any type of feminine gender socialization out of me. It was the 70's. By the time I was 18 or so I was a pretty broken human being as in couldn't think for myself as there was no self. Couldn't really feed myself or pick out clothes, etc. At the age of 20 I started therapy and basically began the recreation of a self, which, I personally, now consider to be the same thing as a soul. Anyways, as we all know part of a self is...one's gender identity.

This was an issue for me as I didn't percieve myself to be 'a woman.' I basically spent about four years self-identifying as a 'female animal,' as this allowed me to explore various aspects of me without having gender constricting it. When I came out around the age of 24/25 as homosexual I was introduced to what I was told were the "Homosexual Genders," Butch and Femme. Actually, "lesbian genders," but as they are seen in both male and female communities, I use homosexual. I didn't identify with any of the lesbian coming out stories I read, it was only when I read Stone Butch Blues that the lightbulb went off. It went off again the more transgendered bios I read. When I was introduced to "Femme," it was an imediate 'click,' and I new this to be my gender.

My partner, of the last ten years experienced a similiar thing. She always hated being female, or so she thought, until she came out at the age of thirty, she thought she was asexual before that, and, again, was introduced to 'the homosexual genders,' and understood herself to be a Butch. She realised that she had no problem with her sex or with her breasts, etc. quite liked them actually it was the gender 'woman,' that she detested. Once she understood herself to be of the homosexual gender she felt great. I think this is one of the reasons we connected to each other as we did, we lived in a pretty "woman loving woman," kind of cultural environment, but we were two female homosexuals who weren't women. Butch/Femme wasn't very 'acceptable,' where we were, there were only about 20 of us as a whole back then in my community, but we were acknowledged if looked down upon.

About 6 years ago I became quite ill and we moved away from the city and the mainland and to an island where we good live alot better on one income. Neither of us paid much attention to sexual politics at that time as health and disability matters were our focus. Eventually, we found out what was causing the severe problems I was having and as that went away and I got better we wanted to attempt to get reinvolved with the queer community and moved back to the city. Basically, you could say I've been coming out all over again.

Unfortunately, it's been pretty much as bad as the first time. It wasn't that empowering for me as I came out as Femme and, well, back then, there, a Femme was something other dykes would do inside the house where noone could see you but they didn't want to be seen with me 'out in public,' so to speak. However, I finally found my partner, etc. Now...

I'm being told that my gender...is no longer a gender. That homosexual genders do not exist. That Butch and Femme are 'mannerisms,' and nothing else. This is quite funny to me as I have been told that I confuse everyone, gay, straight, trans, because I present visually as feminine but behave/act/speak 'like a guy.' LOL Basically, I command attention, expect to be visible, expect to have my needs met, adressed, if I have an opinion, express it and expect people to listen to it, etc. All things males are socialized to expect but females aren't. So...I look like a femme but in many ways my mannerisms are Butch. This hasn't really bothered me personally accept now that my gender is being reduced to mannerisms.

I'm pretty angry and pretty confused. I mean, I've literally had people say, "Femme isn't a gender, it's a mannerism, Someone needs to go back to queer school," and the like. Both of us have always considered ourselves as transgendered but where I am now, and I've asked and recieved confirmation, transgendered=transexual. WTF? So, not only are homosexual genders being erased, I'm no longer part of the transgender movement and any questions I raise are being met with incrediable hostility. I mean...six years ago my gender was still considered a valid gender in queer society, now...it doesn't exist?

I'm in canada, and six or so years ago, a female (MTF) I'll call her "Sally," came to our attention as she had just won a human rights case against the local lesbian centre for refusing her access as a lesbian. You know the arguement, born male, etc. We interviewed her for our local queer cable show. What was extra interesting in her case was that she was currently in a fight with the medical establishment (SRS were covered there) over recieving the OK for SRS. They didn't want to give it to her because although she knew herself to be female, she did not consider herself to be feminine or heterosexual. She did not consider herself to be a woman at all, but rather...A Butch Lesbian. Since she was of the homosexual gender and a masculine female vs a feminine one, she was being denied SRS. I think she eventually won that case as well. Although, I'm not sure as we moved soon after that.

Needless to say, this erasure of homosexual gender from my community effects transfolk such as her as well. I've been reading a couple books on transexuals that I've been refered to and it's really pissing me off that there is absolutely no mention of homosexual culture, society, history or of course, genders. It's like, because hets say there are only two valid genders, man and woman this makes it so. Now, they've always said that, what is upsetting to me of couse is that now the Queer Community, the second or third largest in the country seems to be accepting it.

So...how do I deal with this? It's very upsetting to me, I feel like people are trying to take my gender away from me and quite frankly...if I'm not a Femme, gender identity wise...what am I? It really is the only gender identity I've known as an adult. I'm quite happy with it. It hasn't given me a problem other then 'woman loving woman,' folks don't like it, etc. but for all the rejection, you couldn't make me give it up. Still, it's hard when I'm on a site for example and in the profile section the heterosexual genders man and woman are acknowledged, the transexual genders are acknowledged but the homosexual ones aren't. On a Queer Site! And I'm supposed to just quietly accept this, which, I don't seem able to do and needless to say I'm pissing people off.

Please help me. Any suggestions of works, or pages, etc. I could site, that would back up my claim to my gender would be greatly appreciated. I mean, I know that I'm a Femme, it's not like I've completely lost my gender identity or anything, but this complete well, erasure that seems to be going on in my community is unsettling to say the least.

Thanks.
Muffin

LOL I know the name is silly but it makes me smile in a naughty way whenever I type it. *wink*
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kereth  



Joined: 08 Jun 2004
Posts: 19
Interests: classics, anthropology, gender and religion in the ancient world, religious and magical practices, archaeology, theory of ideas
Physical Location: Southeastern US

Posted: 6 Nov 2005, 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also been searching for literature and theory which supports treatment of Femme as a gender, so any suggestions from others are welcome here.

Regardless, what I learned for myself not too long ago is that experience trumps theory. An unpopular thing to say in a scholarly context, but scholarship has to engage with the real world eventually, and the real world is made up of a bunch of real people's experiences and understandings.

Transgender and transsexual are clearly not the same, but I see them being interchanged more often now than I did even one year ago. I think the confusion comes from equating "trans" with "across" or "to the opposite side" when "transgender" could also mean "transgressively gendered." When one no longer regards gender as a simple binary opposition, the latter definition becomes more useful than the former.

But not all LGBT spaces are open to renegotiating that binary opposition, because doing so can also be threatening to some conceptions of gayness.

Muffin, I support you in what you've said, even though I wouldn't have phrased it quite the way you did, and I'm glad you've posted here. Welcome. If you are on Livejournal, you might pose your question to the 'Postqueer' community there, as it was in that space that I got my comeuppance regarding Femme as a gender.
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Forecast for tomorrow: Partly male with a 70% chance of Byronism
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fiona  



Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 2
Interests: i'm a capricorn...itsa full time job...
Physical Location: South Africa

Posted: 8 Nov 2005, 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi muffin, yes a wonderful name, so many flavours and textures and all good for you :) which is a bit like our psyche...we get to pick what feels good for us on the day...but i cant analyse what you have written here, i would like your permission to take it to my other site where i am part of a wonderful group of gyrls who have the most amazing insights, and then bring their answers back to you...

may i do that?
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The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself
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Muffin  



Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 3


Posted: 25 Nov 2005, 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fiona wrote:
hi muffin, yes a wonderful name, so many flavours and textures and all good for you :) which is a bit like our psyche...we get to pick what feels good for us on the day...but i cant analyse what you have written here, i would like your permission to take it to my other site where i am part of a wonderful group of gyrls who have the most amazing insights, and then bring their answers back to you...

may i do that?


Yes you may. *smile* I'm sorry to both of you for not posting sooner, but....I was afraid of how people would react. I've been, well, I've recieved alot of hostility to my refusal to give up my gender and also cause I don't have the slightest clue where the landmines are, I guess because I've been out of the loop for half a decade due to illness and....I seem to keep stepping in them. *blush* So I actually had to get a friend to come and check the responses first so that if they were, well, mean...I just wouldn't read them. *sigh of relief*

Thanks to both of you for being so kind. *bats eyelashes at you both.* I'm continuing to attempt to refine my understanding of my experience so that I can explain it to others, because...it seems simple, 1 +1 to me...but, people don't seem to understand me. So here's it said a bit different.

Transman and Transwoman are new genders. One could argue that transexuals are creating a new society, new space for themselves, with new language, new genders, culture, eventually moral codes, etc. Transexuals created the genders Transman and Transwoman, therefore, they are "Transexual Genders." However....in two hundred or four hundred years, maybe one will be able to be a Transman and not be transexual. The gender will kind of "jumped" into other societies. However, it would still be considered a "Transexual Gender," because it was created by Transexuals for transexual society. So...

Woman/Man are 'Heterosexual Genders,' created for opposite sex relationships (not nec. romantic, as "in relation to." And yet one can be a "woman loving woman." Of the heterosexual gender 'woman,' but not behaving as the gender was originally created to behave.

Butch/Femme are Homo genders created for same sex relationships. (Again Butch/Femme being found in gay male society as well. I don't know why people ignore that. I think it's because it hasn't been marked as "in need of erasure," as it was in lesbian separatist feminist circles of 1970s. )

Butch/Femme is female masculinity to female femininity. (or male to male) The point is in homosexual culture masculinity and feminity are not connected to bio-sex...and never have been. It was acknowledged that both sexes had both "energies," within them as well as androgyny and that one may lean towards one or the other so to speak. Just like one has "genders behaving badly," with "women loving women," (hee hee!) Butch/Butch or Femme/Femme is the same. The genders are not behaving in the way they were first created, which doesn't make it wrong, it makes them kind of like parents who raise their kids to be heterosexual only to end up with them "behaving badly," and being homosexual. *big grin*

I also have found the case, of the MTF who won a human rights case against the now defunct Vancouver Lesbian Connection. I have the whole case if people want to read it. Anyways, Susan was an MTF who didn't considered herself a "woman." She considered herself female, as I did, but not of the "woman," gender. She considered herself a lesbian not a woman, and refused to be forced into the het gender role "woman," and where feminine clothes to get her sex change. They finally allowed her to live her two years as a "lesbian female," VS a woman. I met her back then, and she basically saw herself as masculine female. I think she ID'd to me as a "Butch Lesbian," but I can't remember for sure. Anyways, she basically got her membership written off by the VLC because she publically declared herself to not be a woman, and that just because she was a female didn't mean she had to be a woman. So...she was like me, a female who wasn't the gender woman, but she was a masculine female to me who is a feminine female, both of us were homosexual.
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Muffin  



Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 3


Posted: 25 Nov 2005, 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kereth wrote:

Muffin, I support you in what you've said, even though I wouldn't have phrased it quite the way you did, and I'm glad you've posted here. Welcome. If you are on Livejournal, you might pose your question to the 'Postqueer' community there, as it was in that space that I got my comeuppance regarding Femme as a gender.


*mew's happily* I am on LJ. I don't know if I'm ready to go into another community, but...I'm whitewillows if you want to connect with me. LOL I generally seem to piss people off in all the queer communities. I have no problem in the straight ones probably because they assume my oddness is...because i"m queer! Ha, Ha, Ha!
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Roxie_A  



Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Interests: Philosophy. & The Logic, and Morals, of People. My art.
Physical Location: Earth

Posted: 26 Nov 2005, 6:29 am    Post subject: Re: Homosexual Genders? Reply with quote

Muffin wrote:

I'm being told that my gender...is no longer a gender. That homosexual genders do not exist. That Butch and Femme are 'mannerisms,' and nothing else. This is quite funny to me as I have been told that I confuse everyone, gay, straight, trans, because I present visually as feminine but behave/act/speak 'like a guy.' LOL Basically, I command attention, expect to be visible, expect to have my needs met, adressed, if I have an opinion, express it and expect people to listen to it, etc. All things males are socialized to expect but females aren't. So...I look like a femme but in many ways my mannerisms are Butch. This hasn't really bothered me personally accept now that my gender is being reduced to mannerisms.

I'm pretty angry and pretty confused. I mean, I've literally had people say, "Femme isn't a gender, it's a mannerism, Someone needs to go back to queer school," and the like. Both of us have always considered ourselves as transgendered but where I am now, and I've asked and recieved confirmation, transgendered=transexual. WTF? So, not only are homosexual genders being erased, I'm no longer part of the transgender movement and any questions I raise are being met with incrediable hostility. I mean...six years ago my gender was still considered a valid gender in queer society, now...it doesn't exist?

*wink*


Hello everyone.

I would like to give my thoughts on a few things if I may. I don’t know what the answers are to these gender issues.

But I guess that I have never really allowed myself considering “Gender” to be anything other than what society demanded out of me. I am almost a 6 yrs Post-Op Female. I do not like to describe myself as being M>F. For I consider that to show, and be a testimony, or admittance to having been at one time to a gender/sex I deny as being. My “GRS” did not make me any more female than I ever was. At least to me it didn’t. I have always associated my identity to be that of a female. Why “associate” my identity to be? Because, Long before I ever knew there was a difference in the anatomies of males, and females. I imagined, and/or likened myself to be that of a female. I based being female solely on which of the two associations were the hardest on my nature within. And my nature was, and is more of a softer, emotional, and general interests, of a female, over that of a males.

Is gender within us? Or on us?
Well, if you look at the term that’s given for encompassing us. Gender “Dysphoria” or Gender Identity “Disorder”. Neither, Dysphoria, nor Disorder, allows for there to be a correctness in our gender, other than what our anatomy, between our legs. Implicated, what to put on our birth certificate. Dysphoria implies confusion on our part, as to being unable to make a decision what gender we are. And Disorder, implicates to there being a proper order, for gender. That we have deviated from.

This is just my thoughts on where gender would seem to have its issues to those within GID/GD.
The Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. Pertains to no one, said to be within GID/GD. Except those that are desiring, and "WILLING" to have GRS/SRS. Lesbians, and Gays, are in a completely different category than the rest of us. Clothing is not, nor has been a distinguishing trait, per-say, connect to one being Gay, or Lesbian. Their associations/activities with another person does. But clothing does to the rest of us.

I have gone as far as possible to complete, (as have many, many others) the physical changes to comply to, and with societies ORDER/standards of gender. All in all giving ourselves security, and peace of mind to those standards. I don’t consider myself as being Trans anything. But I do except the fact that I have to. And since its just a matter of choice as to what part of the Trans family labels that I want to apply to me. If there’s room, I’ll slid into the TS area. (sorry, I was being a A-H)

Remember that all of this is just my opinion, and thoughts.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Oh, has anyone ever heard the saying: “The clothes don’t make the man” ?

I’ll save that can of worms for another day.

Thanks for the space.

Roxanne.
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Roxanne-- Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are. (Don Ruiz)
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