It is important you know who are Gender Apostates; we are real people living real lives, some of us trans some of us not, and this and our experience give our voices authority.
Jaqueline Andrews formerly contributed to Gender Apostates and wrote from the perspective of being a transwoman of colour. Jaqueline died suddenly on 25 April 2016. You can read all of Jacqueline’s work here.
Sass is a 40 year old female human. She is a librarian with no public Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool. Sass is formally educated about anthropology, feminism, and information science, and blogs at thenewbacklash.blogspot.com and secretlyradical.blogspot.com. Outside of libraries and feminism Sass also enjoys Buffy the Vampire Slayer references and cute mammals of all varieties.
Sass’s contributions to Gender Apostates are listed here.
Diana is a forty year old transwoman screenwriter living in New York City. When not pondering the cruelties of gender, she enjoys watching, discussing, and writing about film. One time a little film she made won a little award at a little film festival. It was all very exciting. You can read her babble about gender, cinema, and occasionally britpop at neopythia.com or follow her on titter @neopythia.
Diana’s contributions to Gender Apostates are listed here.
Miranda Yardley is the transsexual equivalent of Marmite, a transgender non-conforming transsexual and magazine publisher who blogs at MirandaYardley.com and Ommadusk.Tumblr.com and has been published in the Morning Star and New Statesman. You can find Miranda on Twitter @TerrorizerMir.
Miranda’s contributions to Gender Apostates are listed here.
36 Comments on “About Us; Who Are Gender Apostates?”
I’ am a radical lesbian feminist and socialist from San Diego. I am so glad to have found this site that is building an alliance between women and gender non conforming males who identify as trans around feminist ideas. This shows a way forward to fight for the real interests of both groups as an alternative to the dominant transgender ideology that currently exists. In solidarity and best wishes for a future free of gender,
Yes exactly! I absolutely believe in transgender individuals having equal rights and I just want to engage in productive discourse with transgender people so we can find a way forward that preserves all of our rights, as allies. Society needs to stop policing who is what gender and like all of you, I’d like those expectations to go away anyway. The evidence shows that transgender people who are screened are better off after transition, so I support that. I believe that includes those with AGP as they do experience intense dysphoria and I see that as a sexual orientation that is as innate as any other and isn’t hurting anyone. It is specific policies of TRA I am concerned about, not transwomen or transmen.
Not withstanding all your apparent good intentions, why use the term trans*gender if you are a gender apostate ?
“We are a coalition of Women and Transwomen who believe in and are working together towards the abolition of gender.”
The language use is contradictory.
The use of the term ‘transgender’ is in the context of ‘transgender non-conforming transsexual’, e.g. I’m a transsexual who rejects transgender politics and ideology.
As I understand it (though I am only a commenter here), the language is intended as conciliatory rather than contradictory. To quote from the one bona fide feminist admin of this site (Sass):
“4. The term “transwomen” is a concession, made out of sympathy and respect, for males who experience sex dysmorphia and undergo physical and social transition.”
Exactly. And as I’ve said elsewhere, the number of *actually* transsexual males is astonishingly low. The problem is the entitled and therefore aggrieved pornsick beta males who *call themselves* “trans” as a get-out-of-male free card, and the intellectually lazy Leftists who let them get away with it because they can’t stomach the loss of a disgust-tolerance merit badge. (I for one am totally in support of free penis removal for any consenting adult. Would weed out the poseurs very quickly.)
where can I apply for the free removal thing???
LOL – just remember to write me in on your ballot for president.
What do you mean by “actually transsexual male?” Are you referring to a ‘post-op’ person who has undergone GRS (Gender Reassignment (sic) Surgery), or non-op person of (your reference), female biology who identifies as male, or or?
I am a transsexual male and don’t agree that what I refer to as transsexual males are low in number. However, your meaning may and probably does differ with mine.
Curious I reckon. Thanks for taking the time to read &/or respond.
By actually transsexual male, I mean a male person who experiences sex dysmorphia and seeks meaningful transition.
Male person: a person who was born into a body that, barring accident or illness, will produce sperm in sexual maturity.
Sex dysmorphia: intense psychological distress regarding one’s reproductive organs.
Meaningful transition: carefully considered and professionally monitored medical treatment for sex dysmorphia.
(A pro-feminist transwoman will also undergo a carefully considered examination of ingrained male privilege and the realities (vs. fantasies) of the social role of women.)
This article compiles the results of 11 studies from 8 countries; the average ratio of males seeking treatment for sex dysmorphia was 1 in 33,000 (or .003 percent) and the average ratio of females seeking treatment for sex dysmorphia was 1 in 119,000 (or .0008 percent). Even if 100 times more people experience sex dysmorphia than seek treatment for it, that would still not describe even one percent of the population.
The correct term is dysphoria not dysmorphia. I have seen that mistake so frequently that I think that people are copying each other’s misuse words. Dysphoria is an antinym for euphoria.
We use the word dysmorphia on purpose, because it is more clearly descriptive of actual transsexual people. Everyone in the world experiences gender dysphoria, because nobody is a walking Barbie or GI Joe. A very small percentage experience dysmorphia. Also, it’s “antonym.” Dictionaries are your friend.
Although I disagree with some of the things that some members of transgender movement advocate, I disagree with your desire to change the meaning of words. I think it’s about group identification. Different minority groups have their own jargon. I have no desire to be either a Barbie or a gi Joe.
It has occurred to me that there is no reason that a person can’t be both dysphoric and dysmorphic. If you met people who fit into both categories then it may have led to confusion. If someone wants breast implants that are out of proportion to normal breasts and heavy enough to cause back problems then I would suspect dysmorphia. Barbie is another example. If scaled up to the average height of a woman then the waist size would be 16 inches. Not consistent with health.
Hi, I found your site today, phantastic! Love it, really a lot!
I am single parent, 3 wonderfull children!!!!!) . I was born and raised a boy, and have raised these 3 beautiful children for almost 20 years on my own. Or let’s put it that way, they have raised me for who I am today. I finally realized that now it is time to stand up for myself. I started to out myself to my kids first in 2014, and explained to them how I identified myself as a girl since I was a little child. That there was noone I could relate to, or talk to. And how difficult it was for me to survive. After we had an open talk, they are very supportive, which most people find unbelievable. Now I am going through therapy, finally becoming myself. One if the best things I did in my life, besides raising children, of course! Now I am my last child I am raising to be happy in this life.
… more later.
A breath of fresh air! I love hearing from transgender women who get it. There are transwomen and there are women. End of story. I don’t think though that we should do away with gender as a concept… we just need to unleash it from the rigid binary. I identify as a woman, and it has something to do with my biological parts, and I have the right to that identity. I have no confusion about my womanness, while working to remove the tyranny of patriarchal oppression. I look forward to reading more…. these are important conversations when all we hear out there is the transactivists’ misogyny.
Question: if gender is “unleashed from the rigid binary” (I must assume you mean the binary of male/female) – then what would it be? Is there any way to describe [what you are thinking gender could be] that meaningfully differentiates it from “human personality”? Why not just acknowledge there are female and male humans, plus a small percentage of intersex humans, and that potential reproductive capacity has no bearing on the personality of any of those humans? (There is a reason people resist this, and in my opinion it comes down to being terrified of how men react when anyone questions masculinity – the idea that men are naturally dominant, and therefore all exploitative behavior on their part is innate/inevitable and thus always-already-excused.)
Thank you for this site. I follow a few of you on Twitter and it’s nice to read your thoughts here. I really struggle to understand how some feminists square their feminism with the idea of a male and a female brain or gender identity. When I read stories about little boys who are girls because they play with dolls and like dresses I just don’t understand why nobody seems to question that. It scares me that society is going backwards. It’s refreshing to hear from others with a different perspective.
I also want to say thanks to you all for speaking your mind on this. I have seen some of the awful comments some of you get on twitter and it breaks my heart to see people being so cruel. It really makes it look to me that the real agenda is not to help genuine transsexuals or women, but to uphold gender oppression.
Thank you for your comment, Lucy.
I want to thank you SO much for having the courage and foresight to create a public dialogue on this sensitive and complicated topic.
I have for the first time in my life begun to feel quite intimidated by the aggressiveness perpetrated by other ‘progressives’ who are so dogmatic about trans women being accepted wholly as biologically-born women. I have for quite a few years now been self-censoring myself within groups of people who claim to be the most open-minded and accepting of all people. If they were, why would I be living in fear that I will ‘slip-up’ and be attacked, mocked or ousted from my community for asking to have a dialogue about this issue?
I run a sex positive/queer social media group that focuses on championing women’s achievements that is relative popular (3,000 members). I am too scared to post its name here lest members see me writing on this blog and immediately label me transphobic, I am far too scare on this platform that I see a clear dissonance in trans women insisting they be accepted irrefutably as women. I am constantly appalled at the treatment and vilification of so-called TERF’s. When I consider what those women went through so that there would even be a dialogue for this kind of thing today, and how they are treated now, it makes me feel a. incredibly saddened that we seem to be going backwards in our understanding of the meaning of free speech and equal rights and b. makes me aware there are a LOT of people out there who have not even scratched the surface of the ideologies of these thinkers who they are so vehemently speaking out against. Anyone who delves deeply into thinking from than time would come out the other end understanding that these women want to abolish the social construction of gender- they are not denying or advocating anyone’s anyone’s ability to live as they choose to.
I tentatively posted this article recently: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/04/woman-2
which I thought was a really reasonable, level-headed piece that does not denigrate or vilify anyone’s position.
Seeing how scared I was to even post it made me pause and I felt quite shocked. I quickly found out that I was right to be afraid, as a few people immediately attacked me and labelled me as transphobic. This is despite the fact that I post daily content that celebrates trans people’s perspectives and LGBTQI and equality rights agendas. This was without any commentary from me. Simply posting this article was enough to have me labelled as phobic. This reaction made me feel incredibly depressed. I could not see how these people can’t understand that they are acting in the way that they are supposedly fighting against- making other people incredibly afraid and uncomfortable to express their opinions and perspectives, and causing them to feel ostracised.
This issue is something other gender/sex positive activists and I have talked about in hushed voices behind closed doors, but wouldn’t dare to speak about publicly. I have a close friend who is the Executive Director of a very prominent women’s organisation, and she constantly relays to me that she has the same intense fears of even trying to slightly bring up similar views, knowing she will be attacked. Her organisation does amazing work supporting biological women from disadvantaged communities, and she is being pressured by transrights activists to allow trans men into their programs, despite it being a women’s only organisation for 25 years. We are both massive supporters for trans rights, and feel completely at a loss about what to do in the face of this ideological conflict. I know it would completely ruin me and all the hard work I have done voluntarily as an activist over the last four years if I spoke about this publicly. I would honestly be terrified of the actions that I feel certain would be taken against me online.
Once again I thank you for being so incredibly brave, and I commend you for being so forward thinking. I know it must be extremely hard to be in your position with attacks coming at you from all sides. I hope you know there are many, many people out there who share your views, and no doubt many more of them will emerge once it feels safe to bring up these ideas.
I read this article on the intolerance of the new wave of activists recently, and it bolstered me in knowing I’m not actually going crazy in feeling like the progressive movement has been going into severe retrograde for some time now. It really is the snake eating its own tail.
The article is here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/
Thanks once more- I will be sure to keep up with all your articles and support in any ways I can.
I have a question. If biological sex is not something one can opt in or out of why is the term transsexual used here? As opposed to transgender. It seems gender is what can be transitioned in or out of not sex.
1) The term transgender has no fixed meaning and is therefore useless.
2) This is because the term “gender” has been hijacked to mean whatever anyone with a penis says it means at any given time they say it means whatever they say it means.
3) Feminists have traditionally used the word “gender” to mean the social roles assigned to men and women in order to enforce male domination (masculinity) and female subordination (femininity). More here http://thenewbacklash.blogspot.com/p/1-sex-vs-gender.html
4) If people could transition in or out of gender, we could end sexism today. Unfortunately, that is not the way gender works. See how trans activists wish to force the label “cis” on women in order to preserve the female servant class.
5) The term “transsexual,” as we use it, means a person who experiences sex dysmorphia and who undergoes meaningful medical transition. This is useful in distinguishing that tiny percentage of the population that most people *think* “trans” means from the much larger percentage of the population that is a) male and b) fetishizes female subordination and so c) wishes to use the social role of women for sexy fun play times. More here http://thenewbacklash.blogspot.com/p/new-feeling-like-woman.html
Thank you so much for the explanation. That had been nagging at me for a while so I just had to ask. Your answer makes complete sense.
The word Transgender to me means absolutely nothing , I see it was a term used by obsessional MALE transvestites to legimimize their dressing up ! ( they dont like the word TRANSVESTITE )
Its also now used by the right wing media to disparage Trans Men and Trans women
I have lived in two different lesbian radical femnists houses in the last 3 decades, Aalthough passing through CCGIC at a reasonably young age ,and just getting on with my life ! Without any fuss or reference to the hoops I was made to jump though 35 years ago
The Trans community has been hijacked by elderly balding Transvestites in Wigs who are quite pathetic , and who became totally obsessed with the clothes or what they saw a female privilege
I can understand to a certain degree how the TERFs feel because I am sick to death of Caitlin Jenner , Kellie Malonie or any of the same old fools wheeled out to represent so called success !
The word transsexual was reportedly coined by Harry Benjamin (a New York endocrinologist) in 1953. He used the term to distinguish homosexuals and transvestites from the group he was referring to. I think that the word transsexual is a misnomer, however it has become an established word in the English language. It found its way into most dictionaries in the mid 1970’s.
I am radical feminist love the space can I join the Facebook group
So relieved to have found this blog. To hear from trans people who wish to bridge the gap instead of reinforcing it!
Thank you so much for this blog. It is a refreshingly real, honest and much needed. In solidarity, Jodi
I am a transwoman who transitioned at age 19 in the year 1998. I transitioned rather seemlessly due to my young age and general feminine looks and behavior. I have pretty much lived my entire adult life as feminine identified. I never once believed me to be the same as a female. I just know that I am non-binary, and in fact consider all trans non-binary. Many of my trans friends (transmen and transwomen) feel this way. I never viewed myself as a male/man either. The issue is complex, because we dont have a 3rd gender identity in our social construct. Hence if you ask me to choose man or woman, of course I am going to choose woman. I have lived my entire adult life as a woman, I was never accepted by men as a man, only something else. A faggot, a sissy, a queer. Whatver. I am not a man, I am socially a woman, but my real understanding of my identity is that I am trans/queer, and Im totally fine with this. I actually fear for the younger generation of trans, as I hope they do not forget their very important identity as a trans person. Even though I pass quite well, I still identify myself openly as trans, because that is the only way I can create awareness. Its not about me getting into womens spaces, its about creating our own space, to be recognised. This isnt a problem in other cultures, just western cultures. Trans/nonbinary have been accepted in other cultures as a thing. I actually transitioned in Hawaii, where the culture is a little different than western culture on this issue. The ideal is to combine this with western concepts of freedom. In other cultures although accepted, as part of the culture, they are sadly treated second class. What I think is a recognition of our trans/nonbinary people, with equal footing as male and female. I have a feminine and queer spirit/essance to me. I am regularly accepted as a woman among women, but I often do point out that I do not have their experience, and only trans people have my experience. We are not men, but we are not the same as a cis Woman. It requires a healthy attitude and acceptance of ourselves in a genuine way, not a delusional way.
It is nice to find some allies who will let born women speak of their own experiences of embodied womanhood.
I don’t want my name or any info about me published. I am terrified of backlash/being called a TERF. But I wanted to say Thank You. A thing is happening in counterculture and the music community where trans women are demanding and dominating the space that women fought so hard for. We are being silenced by the men who a few years ago were our abusive boyfriends, that are now all coming out as trans. They are forcing women back off the stage, out of the music scene, and out of feminist/women’s spaces. Any objections are met with threats of physical violence and severe social violence. I am heartbroken. I fought ten years for the right to exist as a women in punk, and now I’m being told to get out by my abusive ex because she changed her pronouns and learned how to do eyeliner. The notion that putting on a skirt and wearing makeup and florals is what makes you female is offensive to me – I’ve spent my whole life saying women don’t have to wear pink. I would write more, but I am so tired. Sorry this is jumbled. Thank you so much for being a voice of reason and validation. I believe you have a right to be called whatever name you want, use whatever pronouns you want,and feel safe no matter who you are. I have marched for trans rights many times. But I am not a meunstrator. I’m not bigoted for not being attracted to penises anymore or not wanting people with penises in my sexual assault survivor group. Most trans women are wonderful women and all trans people deserve rights. But trans women should not be allowed to silence women or demand access to our spaces, and my ex boyfriend should not be able to force me off the stage and come to my assault survivor group just because he wears a pink skirt and goes by a woman’s name-especially when he still acts with male entitlement and predatory/abusive intent. Thank you for reminding me it’s ok to say No.
Over 3 years late , I really hope you are doing better now, your situation then sounds absolutely horrible. I hope other people in your community came forward to support you – but I know how people can be bullied into submission so very likely not. This madness has to end soon, it’s like a bad dream.
What a relief to find some logical well-researched joined-up thinking on this subject. As a natal female and strong feminist, I have been shocked at the violent and twisted thinking exemplified on the TERFisaslur archiving website. Women, as a general rule, simply do not express murderous abusive threats to that degree and vehemence against anyone, and, if we did, we would start by rioting in the streets every time another one of our children and/or sisters is raped and/or murdered by another male S.C.U.M.bag. It would be much more helpful if binary-rejecting males would also reject misogynistic language and violence before donning a pair of heels and a sparkly dress because, in truth, being a woman is a great deal more than having a wardrobe full of evening wear. Sexism has an extremely long and pervasive historical and political ideology behind it in the same way that racism does. If you’re not a racist then quit being sexist regardless of your girl- or boy-dick!
So delighted to have found this site via the “Cissexism” and you. article.seen on Twitter and I have reposted it when and where appropriate.
I’m an auld warrior for women’s liberation and abhor any form of gender stereotyping which obfuscates the real problem of Patriarchy and modern capitalism .
Hello my name is Hettie and I have jus recently come across this excellent site.
As a lifelong femenist now in my senior years I am concerned about the controvery raging about the proposed Gender Recognition Act that my govt is proposing pre COVID19.
I found Diana’s article the best I’ve read in a while.
Just want to say a huge great big thank you for this webpage. It has helped me understand a few things. Thanks ?