We welcome all current, former, and future trans women

New Narratives 2014 is a space for all trans women – because there is no one type of trans woman, and certainly no such thing as a “true” transsexual. So we welcome all trans women, wherever they are at in their process – trans women who are currently transitioning, former trans women who have retransitioned to living as men, trans women who are assimilated as women, and future trans women who are considering or planning to transition.

New Narratives 2014 is just as much for trans women who don’t pass, and trans women who don’t want to pass, as it is for trans women who aim to pass, or further to assimilate. We welcome butch-identified trans women alongside femme-identified trans women. We welcome equally trans women who partner with females, with each other, with men, or with no one, and we welcome trans women who are autogynephilic.

We welcome trans women of color, and we welcome trans women from minority religious and cultural backgrounds. We welcome drag queens, fem queens, traps, baeddels, transsexuals, non-ops, part-timers, gender queers, bigenders, agenders, women of transsexual experience – you name it, you can come. If you are ready to have an open and honest conversation about where trans activism is at, and where you are at, we want you!

Contrary to the accusations of elitism and separatism frequently aimed at gender-critical trans women, New Narratives was specifically conceived as a radically inclusive conversation, for all people born male* who have taken, or have considered taking, steps to modify the sexed characteristics of their bodies. We eschew hierarchies, and instead focus on the commonalities we share – that we were all born male, but we have eschewed our male sex, and have rebelled against society’s attempts to gender us as boys and men.

The ground rules for the conversation are simple, and few:

  • accept that humans are sexually dimorphic
  • accept that we are male
  • accept that sex-based socialization begins at birth
  • accept that while our lives may overlap with those of women born female, they are also different in key ways
  • affirm that death and rape threats directed at lesbians and feminists are never acceptable under any circumstances

In addition, we will have the safe space policies of using people’s preferred pronouns during the workshop, and no cameras or recording devices. Pseudonyms and nicknames are totally acceptable – we respect your right to privacy! Please respect ours!

We will not agree with each other on everything – and that’s ok! We were all dealt different hands in the world. Our physicality, our upbringing, our social networks, and our life goals will all influence the decisions we make relating to transition. Likewise, our priorities for activism may be different. That’s also ok! This is a first step in trying to re-direct this conversation in a way where we can still find ways to live comfortably in the world, but at the same time lessen the harm that trans activism is doing to women born female, and to ourselves as trans women.

So again, we are calling all trans women – current, former, and future – to join us in Portland, and help move this conversation forward! Email us at newnarratives2014 at hotmail to register, or to send us a message.

 

*Note: we also welcome intersex individuals who were raised as boys and/or lived as men, but are considering transition or actively transitioning to living as women. However, we have a strict no-COINing policy (co-opting intersex narratives). That means, if you are a trans woman who “suspects” or wishes you were intersex, but have not been diagnosed, please either see a doctor or cut it with the appropriation.

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10 thoughts on “We welcome all current, former, and future trans women

  1. “ground rules for the conversation are simple, and few:

    •accept that humans are sexually dimorphic
    •accept that we are male
    •accept that sex-based socialization begins at birth
    •accept that while our lives may overlap with those of women born female, they are also different in key ways
    •affirm that death and rape threats directed at lesbians and feminists are never acceptable under any circumstances”

    So basically you’re open to a “conversation” as long as we agree on every radfem talking point there is?

    “accept that humans are sexually dimorphic.”

    Ummm……but I don’t accept that. I believe there’s much more to sex than sex organs and characteristics.

    “accept that we are male”

    But I’m not male. I’m a trans woman, but I’ve never been male. So I don’t accept that either.

    “accept that sex-based socialization begins at birth”

    I don’t buy that either. What you’re really suggesting is that we all accept socialization from birth, which I disagree with. Society kept telling me I was a boy, but it never took. I rejected that socialization.

    “accept that while our lives may overlap with those of women born female, they are also different in key ways.”

    At the end of the day, it’s about what are similarities are, not our differences. As far as the patriarchy is concerned, trans women are women, because we face the same oppressions. It really doesn’t matter if one of us has a penis and one has a vagina. The patriarchy paints it oppression in broad strokes.

    “affirm that death and rape threats directed at lesbians and feminists are never acceptable under any circumstances”

    I don’t affirm that. In fact, I think I just had a debate with a radfem who said all kinds of nasty things about trans people, and claimed that women have a right to get angry, and don’t have to pick their words. Funny that only seems to apply to cis women, huh?

    I’ve seen radfems call trans women every horrible name in the book. So let’s stop acting like this is one sided, okay? The fact is, radfems fired the first round of threats themselves, when they attacked Sylvia Rivera in there attempt to keep her from speaking at Christopher Street Liberation Day rally, because they didn’t want trans people included. They fired the first round of threats when Janice Raymond penned “The Transexual Empire: The Making of a Shemale”. And they’ve never let up since. So forgive me if I don’t weep over their plight.

    Let’s be honest about these “threats” radfems love to complain about. If any of them were real, then I’m sure that they can provide dozens of examples of radfems being forced to eat glass, right? I’m sure they can provide dozen’s of examples of being burned alive in a fire, right? I’m sure they can provide dozens of examples of radfems dropping dead because of “die cis scum”, right?

    No? They can’t provide ANY? My, how odd.

    • Marti, if you want to come here to have a reasonable debate, fine. But what you are saying is not reasonable.

      The fact that a few humans are born without legs doesn’t mean that human beings are not bipedal. Likewise, the vast majority of humans are born with either a vagina or a penis, and therefore humans are sexually dimorphic. The reality of female biology means that only women born female are subject to forcible impregnation since rape is loosely prosecuted (if at all) but abortion is difficult to access in many places. This makes a huge difference in how women born female interact with the world, compared to how trans women interact with the world! Pretending that sex doesn’t exist is anti-science, fundamentalist bullshit. This point is not up for debate!

      Socialization arguments are class-based arguments. The fact that some of us are outliers does not change the overall reality of institutional structures of power. If you do not believe in class-based analysis and socialization from birth, then you must believe that latina women earn 40 cents on the white male dollar because they “identify” as poor. Give me a break! And let me be clear: libertarian arguments which justify institutional racism are simply racist, and are not welcome here.

      Have you actually read The Transsexual Empire? It was published in 1979, at which point Beth Elliott had already been showing up at lesbian events and creeping women out for almost ten years. Please learn your history. Hint: you can’t learn it from the intellectually dishonest ravings of woman-hater Cristan Williams.

      Also: males kill females every day of every week of every year. Many trans women molest children, murder children, rape women, and murder women. That’s why women born female take threats of violence from males, whether or not we are trans women, seriously. Please think more carefully before you comment again, because you have zero warnings left. -SE

  2. ‘“affirm that death and rape threats directed at lesbians and feminists are never acceptable under any circumstances”

    “I don’t affirm that. In fact, I think I just had a debate with a radfem who said all kinds of nasty things about trans people, and claimed that women have a right to get angry, and don’t have to pick their words. Funny that only seems to apply to cis women, huh?'”

    In my opinion threats or even the comparatively mild action of name calling directed at anyone from anyone is unacceptable. Doesn’t matter if it is someone who is nominally trying to support my point of view or not. In my view such actions are an attempt to intimate and only serve to escalate rhetoric and doesn’t forward dialog. And ultimately threats and name calling undercuts the legitimacy of any position well supported by the facts. It is only when a position is not well supported that such actions are a benefit.

    I feel it says a great deal about a person who would not affirm that such threats are never acceptable. One could deny that such threats don’t occur, but to not be willing to say any that is issued is unacceptable says volumes.

  3. “The ground rules for the conversation are simple, and few:”
    “Accept that I am male…..”

    So, I’m welcome at this event as long as I accept that I’m male ..?
    You’re nuts right… why on earth would I attend a conference that insists I accept that which I am not ??
    If those are truly your ground rules for a “day of conversation” count me OUT… thank you…

    • I agree that does seem a bit jarring and certainly is a very uncommon assertion in the trans world among those who would be considered MTF.

      I would be interested in hearing new narratives elaborate on that point.

      I can see some point to the assertion as relates to sexual dimorphism, the two sexes male and female which carry biological experiences and developmental challenges unique to each which are not shared. This is very different than man and woman which have a great deal of social constructs and expectations. Changing the gender role one lives does not change how one grew up, the experiences unique to each sex. A trans woman has never had to deal with a period, had to deal with that while in school, has never had to deal with pregnancy fears, yet may know the embarrassment of undesired erections while in school. Despite surgical alterations and hormones it doesn’t change anything from the past and only is an approximation of the desired form.

      Some may argue “trans women have all female brains”. If completely true, just how does that invalidate what I said above? Observation tends to make one question that “trans women have all female brains” claim. Either it is wrong or those running around declaring it and saying things like “I am just like any other woman”, “I’ve always been a woman” or “I was never a man” aren’t good examples as those most vocal in those actions don’t seem to be doing so in a very womanish way. To be blunt it seems more like male posturing, the need to be “on top of it all”. I am no expert, and for myself I am acutely aware of how different I am from most other women. I accept that my past means I am not exactly like, yet it seems to me that I am far more in tune to such that those making such declarations.

      I also tend to think anyone who transition has to mature quite a bit in the new role, to develop a much deeper understanding of women living as a woman to recognize how the similar yet\ how different one is from other women. To be willing to acknowledge, even if only to oneself that one isn’t “just like other women” like the mantra many transitioners insist on.

      These are just my thoughts on that statement. I don’t know if anything I said matches the rationale behind new narratives inclusion of that statement.

  4. Pingback: Trashed on the internet | snowflakeespecial

  5. Women have faced burnings, acid attacks, rape, disfigurement and murder at the hands of men. Women dont threaten other women with rape, so if a.trans woman feels she is really a woman she wouldnt threaten a woman with rape. Period.

  6. Some background about me to preface:
    I am a Trans Woman. I am a feminist – always have been. I was raised by a feminist single mother. I came out and transitioned 7+ years ago, and am considered a “leader” in the Transgender, and LGBT community in Utah.
    — I don’t accept or condone violence in thought, words, or actions against anyone. I find the very idea of threats of rape or assault on anyone to be abhorrent and something to be taken seriously. There is never any reason for it. As a survivor of rape, post transition and post-surgery by a man with a penis, and by a WbF prior to surgery, I take such language very seriously.
    — I DO personally accept the following ground rules:
    + accept that sex-based socialization begins at birth
    + accept that while our lives may overlap with those of women born female, they are also different in key ways
    + affirm that death and rape threats directed at lesbians and feminists are never acceptable under any circumstances” (I would extend this to include ANYONE, including Trans Women and Trans Men.)

    I do believe that to have an honest and open discussion, it is essential that all participants (all of us) respect the truths, opinions, etc of others, regardless of how we internally react to them. To me, respect means listening with an open heart. Instead of responding in anger, how about simply remaining silent, or asking for clarification or presenting what you are hearing and asking if this is a correct interpretation?

    The following ground rules, as written, I would not agree to:
    + accept that humans are sexually dimorphic
    + accept that we are male

    I think they would need expansion, footnotes, or reference to how you came to this rule.

    On the first one, this would be true statistically, but then statistically humans are also heterosexual?
    On the second one, I can accept that I was born with male primary sex characteristics, and that I was socialized (as much as they could) as male, and (more important to the discussions) enjoyed male privilege up until the point where I began to lose that privilege during transition. THAT said, I do not accept that I am male. This statement, on it’s own, is simply absurd.

    I agree that there needs to be rational, empathic, discussion around these points. I also agree with those who call for a stop to the vitriol. People can hide behind their keyboards and say whatever they want (I know I can lol). Having a discussion in person, at a conference setting, face to face is a good start. However these ground rules, as written, only ensure that attendees already agree with your expected outcome.

    • Joni: almost every human (>99%), just like almost every mammal (>99%) is born with a vulva and ovaries, or a penis and testicles. That is the only thing the words “female” and “male” mean, when we separate sex and gender. Every social meaning attached to this biology is the result of gender. But sex is sex is sex. If you became brain-dead (perish the thought), you would no longer have a gender identity, but you would still have a sex. It’s just your body. Likewise, your cat does not have a gender identity! But it has a sex: does it go into heat?

      You are a trans woman: that means you were born with a penis and testicles, but you have taken medical and/or surgical steps to change your secondary sex characteristics so that you resemble a female. Just the same as I did. Human beings are sexually dimorphic, and you and I are both male.

      Thanks for your note.

  7. You have merely emphasized my point lol. There can be no real discussion when you have already determined the outcome of your so-called workshop.

    Cheers!

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