Well, as many have pointed out, Mr. Gold's original post has now been taken down, thanks to the flame war that erupted in its wake. You can still (for now, anyway) read it here:
I think that this could have been a chance to open up a dialogue about society's role in the definition of gender and also a chance to educate gay people on what being transgender is really about.
Instead, because of the incindiary nature of the original post and because this is, after all, the world wide internets, it became an opportunity to send a nice old man (who did not understand our perspective) down in flames. Kudos to us for that.
For my part, I did have some nice things to say about Gold's article, even though I first rattled off a rebuttal of his erroneous conclusions and didn't get a chance to get to those. The thing I think he was really trying to get at (in his way) is that in an ideal world where everyone is free to express themselves any way they like without judgment, people wouldn't have to feel like their physical body is "wrong" or out of line with their internal sense of self.
At its heart, that's a very accepting and tollerant notion, but it's still (I think) not quite right. I don't know why it's not quite right, but that's something I've pondered myself, because I do feel like expressing my true inner self is the most important thing in transitioning, and I don't really understand why the rest of it is so important to me. Why couldn't I be happy being the person I was on the outside, but still acting like I feel on the inside? Society's expectation of me has some role in that, and yet I think there's also something deeper.
I posed that same question to my therapist once, asking her why do I have to feel like my percieved gender (to others) matters so much. She answered basically that it just does. She's right. It does matter. I don't need to know why it matters to know that it does, either. I wouldn't be satisfied being a man who is free to act as feminine as he feels. It wouldn't feel right.
And yet, I'm sure to many people who are not transgender, that concept is very hard to grasp. It's not hard for me to grasp, but it is hard for me to explain or understand.
I hope that in the future, people won't be so quick to question the motives of an article like that one. I don't know that Mr. Gold's piece should have been printed in the first place (it was pretty misguided), but I think I understand why The Bilerico Project thought it could foster discussion. Unfortunately, it hit a nerve (with me, too -- my first reaction was certainly to tear down his argument), but I think it should have also given us "T"s a chance to educate our "LGB" bretheren on what we're really about.
Instead, we sent Mr. Gold running with his tail between his legs. I am sorry for my part in that. It was certainly not the intention of my rebuttal.
3 weeks ago