Saturday, June 13, 2020

Buck Angel: 'It Is Transphobic to Say Biology Doesn't Exist'

Trans rights are human rights. But before you get too worked up about or pat yourself on the back too hard for disagreeing with J.K. Rowling's comments on transgender people, try to remember this: Science and many trans people agree with her, including trailblazing tennis player Dr. Renee Richards and porn performer and activist Buck Angel. As Buck points out, how does one transition from one sex to the other if sexes do not exist?

Yes, both Rowling and fellow target Martina Navratilova have (eventually) said some things that have been tone-deaf, at best. But nearly all of the statements have been made in defense of being unfairly excoriated for things they said that were certainly reasonable, from questioning fairness in sports to offering support for a fired researcher. Sorry, but I would imagine if I were a celebrated queer sports icon or beloved LGBTQ ally author it would make me incredibly grumpy and defensive too if I were immediately afforded zero good will after voicing an opinion that wasn’t 100 percent in line with the latest Gen Z dogma.

Instead, every activist, blogger, celebrity and social-media user had to pile on to make sure the world knows they get it. (How’s that for giving someone the benefit of the doubt?) Yet something else entirely has been completely missed here. 

From HERE.

As Buck and others have made clear, being trans is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some take hormones, some don’t. Some undergo surgery, some don’t. The variations are endless. And I think we can agree that most trans people have enough challenges without the rest of us gay guys, however well-meaning, cismansplaining to them how they should think about themselves. (Sorry to single you out, wonderful Mr. Takei.)

And then there is the issue of knowing when to pick your battles. The Trump administration just stripped trans people of vital health-care rights but Dumbledore’s creator, who has zero policy influence, is the devil? Consider this: If it makes you a so-called “trans exclusionary radical feminist” to call people who menstruate “women” -- which Rowling only did to troll people for ripping her so hard for sticking up for that sacked scientist -- then I guess Gloria Steinem is also a TERF. (Some men CAN get pregnant, after all. How DARE she exclude transmen from her feminism?) Talk about not being able to see who your true enemies are.  🙄

P.S. This is what a sweet and loving friend of mine, an LGBTQ ally if ever I knew one, had to say about the topic. How do you think it would be received if she were rich and famous?

To sum up: It’s complicated. When I think about what defines our “born female” existence, it’s things like getting your period/PMS, dealing with birth control, recalling the first time you were sexually harassed (for me, it was a creepy dude at an office where I was temping when I was 19 - later found out he was the dad of a schoolmate, ewww). Also whether/when to have children. If I had not experienced any of those things, my female identity would be very different. But I am fully supportive of however people choose to define themselves. You go, girl/boy/man/woman/non-binary person!


James Dwight Williamson said...

Unfortunately it’s the XX or the XY that biologically calls it in the end. Maybe Cher should comment, I tend to believe that only someone who has been through it closely, but is not the surgical patient has the insight on the true cost. Of course they need to be Trans supporters.

uptonking said...

Semantics. Kerfuffle. Language. Always stirring the pot.
Madonna and Bjork got it right back in the late 90's...

Today is the last day
That I'm using words
They've gone out, lost their meaning
Don't function anymore

Matthew said...

JK Rowling's comments on bathrooms alone should offend any fair-minded person. Her arguments are all rooted in the same sentiments that anti-gay and anti-trans arguments are. You can also find black people defending Trump. I disagree with you here. Reading Rowling's essay was stomach-turning to me, that garbage about men will get gender certificates to perv on girls in bathrooms. Team Radcliffe & Watson. After all, if we are cismansplaining, what is Rowling doing?

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Uptonking nailed it. What are we actually saying here?

And now instead of disagreeing with or explaining how what Rowling said in the first place was in any scientific way incorrect, all the focus is on her inarticulate response to the attacks. (My ex infuriatingly employed the same arguing “strategy” — never about the issue, always about the response.)

Reminds me of a queer icon and tennis legend who also got defensive after being needlessly lambasted.

Pick your battles, people. J.K. Rowling and Martina Navratilova are not our enemies.