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Some Thoughts on Transsexuality

September 5, 2009

First an apology, I’m sorry I’ve been absent from the blog for so long, I haven’t been feeling particularly inspired to post. However, I start work as a high school teacher next week, and I’m guessing that that environment will stimulate some ideas for posts.

Via Jezebel: Where Should Jails House a Transexual Prisoner?. Britain recently ruled that a male-to-female transsexual person can be moved from the men’s prison that she is currently at to a women’s facility. I don’t really have any more to say about this than what Anna N. says in the Jezebel article, so just go read that.

I’ve also been thinking about transsexual/transgender issues a lot recently because I just finished watching the Sundance Channel’s original mini-series “Transgeneration,” a documentary about transgendered college students. It’s on Netflix instant, so if you have an account there you should definitely check it out. I’m not feeling very articulate right now, so I won’t write too much. One of the most interesting issues raised in the documentary was the struggle of transgendered people to make their outsides match their insides. Three out of the four students profiled in the series had started physical transitions (generally through hormones), and one even undergoes sex-reassignment surgery during the show. They each speak at various times about their bodies and all of them have at least a minor fixation with both their primary and secondary sex characteristics. You can also read more about the series on the Sundance Channel website or wikipedia.

I don’t have a whole lot of experience with transsexual/transgender issues, so feel free to comment with more information, insights etc., especially if you’ve seen or heard about this documentary.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky permalink
    September 6, 2009 1:54 PM

    Transgenderism is definitely an issue where I feel like it’s my responsibility as a cisgender woman (and cisgender feminist) to educate myself about. At first I was even cautious about the Terminology , because I want to make sure that I identify people the way they wish to be identified. I posted earlier this week about the Thang Blog, because I appreciate so much all that she shares about her experience as a trans woman. It’s not her responsibility to educate us about transgenderism but I’m really happy she does.

    Another great site is Questioning Transphobia (particularly this article on cis-privilege.) Reading the blog, I’ve realized how common it is to find transphobia in news articles and other places where you would expect their to be positive depictions of trans men and women, and I now question a lot of sources of information out there. For example, I think the first time I seriously thought about transgenderism was when reading Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides in high school. It has been touted as resource for learning about transgenderism because the main character is intersex. Looking through reviews like this one, however, made me seriously question the portrayal of this character, and whether the general public is getting any sort of realistic depictions of transgenderism at all. (Or maybe they’re just not looking for them)

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