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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:57 AM
Original message
Terms to avoid using when talking about the trans community.
I think most people, though, are unaware that they are being offensive and aren't intentionally making bigoted comments. But there are certain things to avoid when having a conversation about the trans community.

First, the term 'transgendered' is not how the community commonly refers to themselves. Using the past-tense of transgender implies that someone has completed sex reassignment therapy (SRT). Most trans people will never experience a completed transition due to how expensive the process is and because insurance doesn't cover the entire cost. Or they may simply chose not to engage in SRT. The choice is entirely up to the individual. Using phrases like 'sex change' should also be avoided due to its focus on the surgical aspect of SRT. Transitioning for trans people is more than just an alignment of their genitals with their gender.

Secondly, calling a trans man or trans woman 'not truly' or 'not entirely' female or male is extremely offensive to a trans person. Trans individuals run the spectrum of gender alignment and just because one doesn't 'pass' for their gender identity as well as someone else may 'pass' doesn't make them any less male or female.

Another thing to avoid is speculating whether or not a trans person is merely someone just cross-dressing to access a bathroom in order to sexually assault someone. This tactic has been used more and more over the past few years by anti-LGBT organizations to scare people to vote against trans-inclusive legislation. The main reason why the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) did not pass last year was because it was held-up by the right wing over bathroom language on how to accommodate trans people in bathrooms and changing rooms.

Again, I think most people have been acting in good faith and have been mostly sensitive to the trans woman attacked at the Baltimore County McDonald's. But moving forward, let's be more aware of the language we use and its possible implications.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. Awesome!
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 01:04 AM by dmr
Thank you for posting this. :yourock:

We all have much to learn.
:hug:
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. Very interesting, thanks!
Paragraphs 3 and 4 really ought to be common sense; it's unfortunate that anyone would need to be told. I'd quibble a bit linguistically with paragraph 2 however: the -ed doesn't always mean past tense, it also means having the property of, which is the implication I'd take from transgendered. Pedantics aside however, I'm happy to refer to people how they prefer (and if it saves me two letters at the same time, it's win all around... :) )
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. As a self-identified cisgender gay man
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 01:30 AM by JackBeck
I would never claim to speak for all of the transgender community. But from all of the people I've interacted with from the trans community online, at conventions, testifying alongside at the statehouse in Trenton, NJ..etc...none of them would use the term 'transgendered' and have shared the same reasons why.
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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Cisgender?
Is this why Transgender falls under the umbrella of gay, lesbian, bi category?
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. Transgender people are considered members of the LGBT community.
Here's a great excerpt from wikipedia that I think best describes why they are members of the same community:

"Despite the distinction between sexual orientation and gender, throughout history the gay, lesbian, and bisexual subculture was often the only place where gender-variant people were socially accepted in the gender role they felt they belonged to; especially during the time when legal or medical transitioning was almost impossible. This acceptance has had a complex history. Like the wider world, the gay community in Western societies did not generally distinguish between sex and gender identity until the 1970s, and often perceived gender variant people more as homosexuals who behaved in a gender-variant way than as gender-variant people in their own right. Today, members of the transgender community often continue to struggle to remain part of the same movement as lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens, and to be included in rights protections."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. I think it is helpful, but why did you not define cisgender...
especially when you go on to use it to describe yourself? :shrug:
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Cisgender is a term used by the transgender community
to describe people who are not transgender. It's not a pejorative, but a term used by trans allies to show support.

'Cis-' is a Latin-derived prefix meaning 'to/near the the same side.' in other words, my sex and gender are in alignment.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. ahh... I appreciate the clarification...
;)
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caraher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
41. me too
I was afraid this was an organic chemistry joke gone astray!
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Please don't make light of unfamiliar terms.
Can we please leave the snark at the door as we try to respect the transgender community?
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #16
47. Invented, no doubt, by a transgendered person who know Chemistry.
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Ferret Annica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
45. After a year and a half I have gotten the Veteran's Administration to give me hormones
Roseburg, OR VA is stuck in the conservative mindset and a conservative part of Oregon. So after changing my name and gender marker on my license an year and a half ago, I finally got a script for estrogen. I will push for other medications now I have my high heeled foot in the door, but I have to go a longer distance to get services in Portland.

My biggest wince comes from people I have known for decades finish a conversation with, "It's good to see you man." Or who call me 'guy.' But you learn to chose your battles wisely and I grin and bear it. I also tell people who mess up the pronouns and get embarrassed not to worry, after so may years of using them, I have done the same thing.

Admitting you are human usually helps people feel more comfortable.

I would not correct someone using transgender as a verb unless it was in a private situation, as I have no desire to embarrass people in a group.

I don't get hung up too much on words, I am just enjoying the freedom of being myself and ending the decades long pretense of being male.

I have had only one hateful person rudely and belligerently ask, "Are you a man?' I responded, "Are you?" I quickly had him cornered rhetorically. Being a political activist all my life certainly helps with courage and communication skill.

As far as my pet peeve on verbiage goes, the DMS IV label of 'Gender Dysphoria' annoys me the most. I am not afflicted, my mind has always been female, and that is the important part of me. The body is not what people should get hung up on when people deal with people moving out of a gender role that never fit.

I am a normal, functional woman with a birth defect. I will be one whether I can ever afford complete transformation physically or not. I will never change. I want people to talk to me, a woman; not to my body below my neck.

I fee free and confident on many more levels than I ever did hiding in shame and fear scared of what people might say about me being me. Once you find the freedom of expressing who you are, you can never go back into the closet.

Ultimately I am just happy to be me. As more people discover people like me to be quite functional and normal as society finally addresses discrimination and ignorance about people like us, the language has a way of taking care of itself.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #45
52. Congratulations. That's beautiful.

:hi:
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Ferret Annica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #52
57. Why thank you, I appreciate your kind words.
Though the biggest beauty here is that DU exists, and is such a bright spot of intolerance of bigotry and stereotype based hatreds.

I have always admired this site for that aspect of it's collective character.

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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
Thanks for all that you do to help us all be more aware.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. thank you. very helpful.
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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. Transgender is not a verb and can't have a past tense. 1st point makes no sense whatsoever.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:45 AM by TransitJohn
edit: Rest is sound advice. :hi:
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. The problem is the -ed suffix.
It is a past tense suffix and therefore can only be a past-tense suffix.

The words with the -ed suffix meaning "having" or "possessing as a characteristic", producing an adjective from a noun or noun-like base, simply doesn't enter into the dataset. Since it's not in the dataset, and we have to assume that the dataset is complete (what? me, wrong?), -ed can only be a past-tense suffix.

Similarly, "red-headed" and "left-handed" aren't past tenses. Nobody comes along and left-hands or red-heads people to make them left-handed or red-headed. My son didn't suddenly undergo a bout of blond-hairing or blue-eyeing or white-skinning.

It's the kind of thinking that required having the Middle English present participle ending -in (as in "speakin" or "ridin" or "singin", showing up in German as -end and in Latin as -ens or -ent-) merge with the noun ending -ing (as in "speaking, riding, or singing", showing up in German as -ung). They were confused by Middle English, and so confused the grammarians that they required their final merger. Even though colloquially they're not always merged.

Some believe that language controls or sharply influences thought, so if you want to control a population it's handy to control the language.

http://www.units.muohio.edu/havighurstcenter/publicatio...
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Morning Dew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:51 AM
Response to Original message
7. "Tranny" is a good one to avoid as well.
unless you're talking to your mechanic about your vehicle and its drive train issues.
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. I've used tranny repeatedly...but
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 01:07 PM by Aerows
The family business is auto repair, so when I hear the word "tranny" I automatically think "What the hell does a transmission have to do with this discussion" :P
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. Re: failure to pass ENDA
You mention: "Another thing to avoid is speculating whether or not a trans person is merely someone just cross-dressing to access a bathroom in order to sexually assault someone. This tactic has been used more and more over the past few years by anti-LGBT organizations to scare people to vote against trans-inclusive legislation. The main reason why the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) did not pass last year was because it was held-up by the right wing over bathroom language on how to accommodate trans people in bathrooms and changing rooms."

What is the strategy to combat that, in order to eventually pass ENDA?
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Apart from saying, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life?"
I don't know. It sounds like a naked excuse for bigotry to me. Perhaps we could challenge them to name one time this actually happened. (Maybe I'm ignorant, but if this has ever happened, I've never heard of it.)

But seriously, who would do that? Like dressing up as a woman is the only way a guy could get through the multiple layers of security to get into a woman's bathroom and assault someone.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Agree that it is an excuse for bigotry...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 04:59 AM by hlthe2b
But when you have the RW pushing an emotional "fear" button--especially when it comes (potentially) to parents and their children--it can be effective, I'm afraid.

I don't know what the answer is, btw. This is probably something that will pass as the youth of today "comes up" with more progressive views on GLBT in general. Of course no one would want to have to wait on changing attitudes/perspectives.... :shrug:
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Well, I'm still waiting for pot to be legalized
I know it's not the same, but it would be a significant improvement in my life, and waiting does get quite tiresome.
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. When I went to DC to lobby with the transgender community
for passage of a fully-inclusive ENDA early last year, we were told from Barney Frank's office we would have a committee vote by the end of March. Lawyers were still wrangling over language for changing rooms at gyms and language for companies that provide changing spaces for their employees. Mara Keisling, ED of the National Center for Transgender Equality, didn't go into extensive detail as to what specific language was holding up the bill, reasons for which are plenty when navigating passage of any legislation.

But we had bi-partisan support for the bill and the most co-sponsors ever for an LGBT bill. I held my nose and lobbied Republican Reps. from New Jersey, who promised a vote in support, but refused to put their name as a co-sponsor.
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
13. About the cost issue
I think you can have it done for free in Argentina now. I might be wrong, the might have just required insurance to cover it, but I think they're requiring public hospitals (which are free for everyone, foreigners included) to perform sex reassignment surgery (did I get it right?) You'd most likely still be on your own for any hormone therapy or other aspects, medications aren't universally available here generally, but they're probably still cheaper than in the U.S., where all health care is subject to the most horrifying price gouging.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. Of course, "going to Argentina for SR surgery" is still nontrivial financially. (nt)
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
36. I believe San Francisco offers SRT for transgender citizens.
Not sure if other cities offer similar benefits.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:15 AM
Response to Original message
15. Recommend
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
18. So what IS the proper term for a person whose physical and psychnological gender are out of synch?
I thought "transgender" was the correct term.
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Transgender IS the proper term.
Is there something in the OP you would like my to clarify, or is there something that I said that was confusing?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. OK, so it's "transgender" not "transgendered"
That wasn't quite clear.

No further problem.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
24. "how to accommodate trans people in bathrooms and changing rooms"
Simple. Have a unisex bathroom available not only for trans people, but with wheelchair access, and changing facilities (so dad could go in with daughter or mother with son). Bingo!
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Cid_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. Seems like a logical dud to me...
"aren't intentionally making bigoted comment"

Either ones statements are bigoted or not.

If a person who fully supports transgender(ed?) people uses or doesn't use the correct tense doesn't change the intent behind the statement.
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Many people are blinded by their unearned privilege.
And sometimes people who are allies can be insensitive even while fighting for social justice. We need to own our own bigotries and challenge ourselves to be more aware when we misuse terms. I believe that most people are well-meaning, but we all make mistakes, so it's better to learn from those mistakes and be a better advocate the next time a similar situation presents itself.

Terry Cross has developed a cultural competence continuum that is useful in processing our own bigotries.

Cultural destructiveness is at the far negative end of the spectrum while cultural proficiency represents the positive end of the continuum.

1. Cultural Destructiveness: It refers to the blatant attempts to destroy the culture of a given group. There is also an assumption that one group is superior to another. It acknowledges only one way of being and purposefully denies or outlaws any other cultural approaches.

2. Cultural incapacity: An individual or organization lacks the capacity to be responsive to different groups, but this is not intentional. Ignorance and unfounded fear is often the underpinning of the problem. Incapacity might consist of the failure to recognize when mistreatment is due to cultural differences thereby perpetuating its occurrence.

3. Cultural Blindness: People who are culturally blind are ignorant of cultural differences and often perceive themselves as unbiased. This is due to the fact that they believe that culture makes no difference in relation to the way the group acts or reacts. Cultural blindness fosters the assumption that people are all basically alike, so what works with members of one culture should work with members of all other cultures.

4. Cultural Pre-competence: This implies the movement towards cultural sensitivity. In this phase individuals actively pursue knowledge about differences and attempt to integrate this information into delivery of services. There is a recognition that cultural differences exist but those differences are acknowledged as differences and nothing more. Cultural pre-competence encourages learning and understanding of new ideas and solutions to improve performance or services.

5. Cultural competence: In this phase the organization or individual has the capacity to function in an effective manner within the context of the targeted group. Acceptance and respect of differences, continual self-assessment, attention to dynamics of differences, and continual expansion of knowledge about the target group are important factors of competency. Cultural competency involves actively seeking advice and consultation and a commitment to incorporating new knowledge and experiences into a wider range of practice.

6. Cultural Proficiency: Cultural proficiency is at the positive end of the continuum. It is where health and human service providers should strive to be. It involves pro-actively regarding cultural differences and promotes improved cultural relations among diverse groups. Individuals in this category hold culture in very high esteem and they are regarded as specialist in developing culturally sensitive practices.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Phoenix63 Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. So because you feel a certain way about this
everyone should be just like you and get a thicker skin?

Have you ever been discriminated against because of race or sexual orientation?

Are you speaking from experience?

Some people need the "wishy washy feel good stuff" and some don't.

Why should everyone conform to your standards?

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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Hi, Phoenix63! Welcome to DU!
:hi:

Those are great questions and I'm also curious to see what the answers are.

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Phoenix63 Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #32
38. Thanks!
Looks like we aren't going to get any answers..
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. Why do you take issue with wanting to respect marginalized groups?
Language is powerful and using proper terminology is more than just developing a thick skin. Sometimes all a disenfranchised group has the power to do is claim the right to determine what to be called.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. Just ask him about DADT. -nt
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Please summarize or send me some links.
I can only imagine what was regurgitated.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. Check your inbox. -nt
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #46
55. Wow.
If you haven't already, I alerted on using comments in this thread (deleted) and linked to another thread that I believe BlueBear started when I noticed a pattern. The links in my inbox confirmed the conclusion I made prior to alerting. Thanks.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #27
49. Do you have a source for the Cross stuff?
I want to keep it handy.
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. Here's the link I used:
http://peer.hdwg.org/sites/default/files/Terry%20Cross%...

I facilitate a one-day training on Building Bridges to Cultural Competency and didn't have access to our curriculum, so I did a quick cut and past from this link. I apologize for not initially sourcing, I was in kind of a rush.

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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #53
61. It's cool
And thanks for the link. That continuum is a brilliant articulation of a concept I never quite knew how to put into words. Love it!
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. its really not that simple. sometimes people are clumsy about language
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 10:14 PM by La Lioness Priyanka
esp when describing groups of people they are unfamiliar with, or when language changes (old people often use antiquated terms for minorities, not always from bigotry)

and ofcourse some people diminish the need to be sensitive to marginalized communities, from pure bigotry and bias :)
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. I agree, and then there are some of us
who can't even remember our own pets' names or what we had for lunch the previous day or where we put the anti-itch cream.

We don't intentionally say things to hurt someone else, so when this or that word becomes unacceptable or changes to something else and we mistakenly use the forbidden word and get screamed at and accused of being some kind of "ist", then I say fuck 'em.

I'm not saying people need to get thicker skins or anything, but they do need to understand that sometimes we're not exactly in the loop on what's acceptable today which might change next week.

A gentle reminder is sufficient. Not a full blown hissy fit because we don't know what we don't know and can't remember half the time anyhow.

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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-28-11 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Do you consider this OP to be a 'full-blown hissy fit'?
Or a teaching moment where we can come together to learn how to respect others by embracing the ways people preferred to be addressed?

Or, 'other'?

Please take into consideration the entire post.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #44
48. No. As you said...
it's a nice way of sharing information for people who can remember to say or do the right thing.

What I'm referring to is people who DO have huge hissy fits because some of us can't seem to remember that what's OK today might not be OK tomorrow, and we're supposed to know what each group wants to be called.

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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. This argument is specious.
It would be like calling a black person "Negro" and then when they are offended saying Gee, sorry, I just can't keep up with what's OK these days.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's respectful and what isn't. Just try to be generally considerate, and if some is offended by something you say, *listen* to them. Just saying "fuck im" is pointless.
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mythology Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #50
63. It's not a specious point
As identity politics (I don't mean this as a pejorative term) have become more prevalent, smaller and smaller groups have come up with names to identify their group. This is especially an issue where there is a rapid change in the group identification. For example, in my life I've seen the change from gay people, to gay/lesbian to gay/lesbian/bi, gay/lesbian/bi/transgender, to gay/lesbian/bi/transgender/intersexed etc. And that's not counting that I've seen a number of people starting to put the lesbian first.

It's not always simple to determine with words out of context if something is offensive. You need an accurate history to know if the person who uses a word that offends you is an ass, not up to date on the latest group terminology or even just simply inarticulate. Additionally there's the fact that not everybody who belongs, or appears to belong to a particular group accepts whatever the currently commonly used term is. For example I know that some people in the gay community use the word queer and others dislike it.

Personally I'm just lazy, I lump everybody under the umbrella of people. Of course as somebody who looks like a cross between Quasimodo and Frankenstein's monster, I really can't afford to go around casting aspersions on other people's innate characteristics like sexuality. :P
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #26
51. "Either ones statements are bigoted or not." This is true, regardless of intent.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
30. Why not "intergendered"?
It could cover a multitude of "states" of gender.
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JackBeck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Language evolves, so it's possible.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 08:47 PM by JackBeck
But ultimately it's not my decision.

The most immediate example that comes to mind is how the intersex community prefers not to be called hermaphrodites.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
31. Excellent information!
Thanks for posting this for us neophytes. K+R.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
54. Is the term "tranny" offensive?
I've wondered that, although I have met transvestites who called themselves that - but that doesn't mean anything

I've known elderly Chinese men to refer to themselves as "Chinaman"
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Ferret Annica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. Tranny refers to transvestites, they want to keep their maleness...
Edited on Fri Apr-29-11 08:28 PM by Ferret Annica
...and like the fun of dressing up. A male to female, or female to male individual has a challenge they deal with knowing they are a gender their body does not reflect.

I had a tranny friend who worked at a restaurant in Eugene who wore slinky, flashy women's outfits, and kept his very hairy chest and legs. His Jacket had "Punk Princess" sewn on the back. He would try to offer me tips on how to be more flashy, but I explained I was a woman in mind and soul, and my focus was to fit in in tasteful and attractive clothes that did not make me stand out.

He is now living in San Diego and dresses more often as a man than he did here because of his work. I would correct anyone asking me if I were a transvestite and be somewhat irritated they picked up on my body's unfinished transformation.

My friend had less than zero interest in changing his name, gender marker on his ID, taking hormones or doing surgery. He finds it fun to tweak society's conventionalities. Someone in transition and who identifies as the gender their body is in conflict with usually doesn't. His nickname here was Kooky. I miss him being around this town.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. Gotchya
Also, isn't it a misconception that all transvestites are gay?
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Ferret Annica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. I understand most transvestites are heterosexual too
Edited on Sat Apr-30-11 02:19 AM by Ferret Annica
http://www.vernoncoleman.com/thethreemyths.htm

As this link shows, most men who like women's clothing but do not want to change genders hide their love of women's clothes because of fear of people assuming they want sex with other men, or will want to start hormones or get their name changed.

Many of these men just like women's clothing. And according to polling and studies many stay deeply closeted about their love of cross dressing because of fear they will be misunderstood by wifes, girl Friends and the community.

Myself, I approached my mother at age four concerned about the problem of having male genitals. I got removed from the 'play house' area of the classroom in kindergarten by my teacher who was not willing to let me play with toys put there for girls to play with. I t never stopped me from going back there. These examples of my experiances are part of a thread running the entire fabric of my life. You would destroy the tapestry of my existance to try to force me to be what I'm not.

And in first grade I was tested to see if I was mentally handicapped because I was bored and detached in class and did not bond well with my peers of my assumed gender. The results of that testing actually found me to be quite bright. I know what it is like to always have to confront an undeserved stigma.

I am like you in that I have to read to know about men who just like dresses and have normal heterosexual lives in the male role - which in the above link is generally thought to be a three to one ratio of the category of people physically male but in frocks world. I have empathy for men like this because I understand from personal experience how cruel society can be.

My reaction to getting peer messages from girls who liked me was to avoid them and cause me deep consternation. It felt creepy and was a dilemma to me at that age. And for that I got harassed as a "faggot" as the worst of my peers called me. I fought haircuts with passion until my Mom gave up on trying to keep it short. And when she went to work I would sneak into her room and experiment with her make-up and wear her clothes.

I find transvestism interesting, but I am no expert in men as gender peers be they strict pants or taken to enjoying women's clothes just becuase they like them. I can only empathize with transvestites and the man to man/woman to woman life of homosexuality because of the commonality I have with them of knowing oppression because of who I am.

I hate oppression and people should be left alone as society learned to leave women who like wearing pants are now almost free of being bad vibed by society.

Differences should be respected, because these differences do not affect how well someone functions in society as a contribution member of the community at large. People like me, homosexuals, or heterosexual cross-dressers deeply understand the problem society has with intolerance, and how the hate and abuse we get can hurt us.

Oppression and using us as bait to make wedge issues to scare uninformed people to try to scare them into accepting a broader political agenda they normally would have the good sense to shun is the real problem. Interesting question, thanks and I hope my musings help you understand marginalized groups like the one I belong to.

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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
56. I only wandered over one "grey" area and am still not sure.
I had a good friend who was a crossdresser (her term, not mine) and performer. Absolutely stunningingly beautiful. When her mom died, she pulled her hair back, put on a suit, took off the makeup and went to the funeral...and posted pics of himself on her web site. I was floored. As gorgeous as she was, he was a much more attractive man (which is saying A LOT). My comment to her was, "As beautiful as you are as a woman, you're a truly gorgeous man, as well". She mumbled a "thanks" but I get the feeling I offended her, but she never said anything.

It may have been that she saw the "man" as being a part of an old life that she wanted to forget.
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Ferret Annica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. If she is/was a transsexual, she didn't like that comment.
If she only preformed in womens clothes and kept her male name with no desire to transform their physical self, she wouldn't be very likely to take offense.

I have had people ask me what my birth name was because they only casually knew me. I tell them it's irrelevant, as my legal name is different now. I tell them there is no point to sharing that kind of personal information.

I was still me when I had that name and lived in fear of family and society's reaction to me expressing my sense of who I am, but I am not going to do more than to encourage someone like this to take me as the woman I am. This aspect of my past is not their concern or business.
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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-30-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #59
64. That's the grey area.
She lived/worked as a woman. She only went by a man for her mother's funeral. Even her two sons and ex-wife recognized her as a woman. Meh. Either way...I miss her to death. She moved to FL and we lost touch.

It's kind of funny that you mentioned people asking your "birth" name. I never even thought to ask my friend hers, but she posted it along with her photo. I had such a hard time imagining her as anyone else but the woman I knew. I remember staring at the name and the photo and it just seemed so alien to me. I think subconsciously it really bothered me that she couldn't be herself. Oh, and I'm not sure if this makes a damned bit of difference, but she had no desire to have the surgery. She was bisexual and preferred things the way they were. I think she may have posted the photo/name to make others aware of her struggle. Don't get me wrong, she has a wonderful life and celebrates every single day, but I'm sure that there were probably internal issues that she never felt comfortable sharing. Maybe that was her way. We're both Scorpios, we don't air our emotions easily.

I admire your courage. It's time society and FAMILIES get over their bigotry and accept people for the way they are. We're definitely moving forward, but I look forward to the day that my friends can marry, work and live without fear.
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