Hello everybody. I was basically offline for about 9 months. I've been back online for a little while but I haven't posted in this thread, since I feel that I ought to catch up on the posts I missed while I was away. Unfortunately, I haven't yet made the time to read all of them, but I have read the last 5 pages or so. But I really
want to make a few comments. So I shall.
Firstly, a big congratulations to Aaeriele for her recent legal victory.
superglucose wrote:I guess that's why I don't really identify with the "community." I don't feel like it goes about it the right way and I don't feel like there's a cohesive community. I feel like whatever community is invented is really invented as a sort of "Us vs them" mentality which I think fosters resentment for people who don't think the same way you do (if straight people are "the enemy" then you start harboring resentment towards straight people). Heck, just look at the way certain camps within the so-called community treat other camps. Some LGBs don't accept the Ts, some LGBTs don't accept the As, and some LGBTAs don't accept the Ps. Then we're all boiled down to some letter.
Beyond that if you have questions, go ahead and ask them. If you want to know if I could be attracted to you or if I am attracted to you or interested in you? Ask. But don't label me and for the love of god don't hear what I say and then respond with "Ah, you're clearly X" or "Ah, well you're not Y but you could X." I'm Superglucose, that's the only label I can safely wear.
You make lots of excellent points, superglucose. The community is generally not very cohesive, apart from little pockets like this one. The sexuality / gender landscape just covers so much territory that it's hard to even get us all to agree on a common term to describe people like us, what to speak of sharing common goals, philosophies, etc. And while I totally agree with your statements about the "Us vs them" mentality and how it can lead to seeing straight people as "the enemy", I believe that at this stage we don't have a lot of choice. One of the main things we all have in common is that despite vast improvements in queer rights around the world in the last few decades we are still generally discriminated against in various ways by the majority straight society. So for political reasons we need to present at least the facade of a united front. As the great Benjamin Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
As far as many straight people are concerned, they don't really see a difference between the different types of queer people, apart from differences of degree and differences due to our birth gender (ie what got written on our birth certificate). I've had conversations with well-educated straight people who firmly believe that trans is just a more extreme form of gay.
On the topic of labels, they have their good and bad points. If they are understood as ways of referring to regions of the sexuality / gender landscape, like signposts, they can be useful, as they can give us the points of reference we need to discuss this complex & subtle topic. Their bad side arises when we try to attach them to individuals because that is essentially an attempt to chain the person to the signpost. Actually, it's even worse that that because we all have different interpretations of what the labels mean, which just adds to the possible confusions & misunderstandings.
Kilroy(ZTC) wrote:The people who work at the comp sci major's computer lab are all pretty transphobic, and this is upsetting to me. Especially since one is gay. Admittedly that's prison gay (and in a somewhat literal rather than just derogatory sense also as he has felonies), but still. This is upsetting because two of them are star students and this makes me think: these people are representative of the sort that would be my coworkers after graduating. In which case, I probably couldn't even get a job in spite of my stellar academic record because I wouldn't pass the interview process.
*big hugs, Kilroy* Don't let them get to you. You will find transphobic people wherever you go (even among gay people). OTOH, there are also plenty of queer-friendly people in IT. Which makes sense, since one of the founders of computer science, A. M. Turing, was gay, and modern computer architecture & chip design owes a lot to the work of Lynn Conway, a trans woman.
It's unfortunate, but there's a long "tradition" of animosity between gay & trans. Of course there are plenty of gay people that are quite accepting of trans people & vice versa, but there are also plenty that are not. I suspect that the non-accepting ones generally have some issues with their own self-image and self-acceptance, and / or with the stereotypes inflicted upon us by straight society.