Alright, I think some people may disagree with what I’m going to write here, but I came across a few characters that brought it to mind, and I feel the need to write/talk it out. Since that’s what this blog is intended for, away I go!
There was a statement I recall hearing from some real transsexual folks a while back, about how a MtF who completed her transition was not a trans man, but a woman, and the same applies for the other direction. From a Transformers board I follow which seems to ironically have a decent proportion of transsexual folk, they want to be seen as the gender they should be, not what they are, and that’s how they present themselves. If they could snap their fingers and be 100% the gender they should be, they would be in a heartbeat, much like many otherkin would do if they could become their species. (Also ironically, otherkin still tend to be looked down on by transexual folk, despite the fact that unlike their situation, it’s more spiritual than physical.)
Then recently, I came across someone who was getting rid of some characters, and I took a peek cause the thumbnails looked interesting. A couple of the characters in question were female in shape and body, but with male genitals, and their gender was labeled as trans.
Trans is not a gender. The people I mentioned above, who have to deal with the situation in real life, would consider this sort of character an insult, and in fact I’ve seen similar reactions to some mainstream depictions of such people that take the same approach.
Now, they could be in the middle of transitioning, but the art and descriptions gave the impression that this was their natural selves, and they were satisfied with being where they were on the physical gender spectrum. Basically, it’s being used as a more palatably-named version of the old concept of the “dickgirl”/”cuntboy” concept. (Which some trans folk also find offensive, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Nowadays, there is a wider spectrum recognized in the matter of gender, which reflects itself in furry fandom. You’ve got genderfluid folk, who go back and forth, or folk who identify as neither. It makes perfect sense to have people who may identify as somewhere in-between, whether a full herm(with breasts or without), a “dickgirl,” or a “cuntboy.”
Now fair enough, people may be confused on these, and said confusion may make them angry that someone is challenging them, or it may make them think the person is simply doing it as a cry for attention, instead of who they are. There may even be a few for whom that is true. Also fair enough that the two latter terms have been used as insults in the trans community for long enough that it feels wrong to use the terms, but frankly I just don’t have anything better at the moment. And that, my friends, is part of the problem.
How do you describe the gender of such folk? Stick to the well-used terms despite their negative connotation? Make up something else and piss off the “anti-snowflake” crowd further? Or just go the smartass route(my favorite) and say “Gender: Yes”?
Now some may point out that fursonas have an element of fantasy to them. Some may choose to have their fursona mirror their real-life progress, and that’s fine. And they may decide to stop halfway between like the examples above. But at that point, if you do stop partway on purpose, you’ve finished your transition, even if the endpoint is not a “normal” endpoint. You’re not trans, you’re something else.
And honestly, I guess this has turned into more of a rant than a discussion or whatever, and people can claim whatever labels they like, but someone calling themselves trans as a gender does a disservice to the actual transexuals who are in mid-transition, and intend to go all the way because that’s what they truly see themselves as.
Trans is not a gender.
That said, I’ll go back to my hidey-hole now until the next time I get a bug up my tail to write about something, or when I finally get around to another art post, as I have gotten a couple pieces, and have at least one more in the works. But that’s for another day.