80 votes

What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)?

Introduction

Gender and sexuality are complex, personal topics, and asking questions about them can often feel invasive or even offensive. Discussions about them can be tough to navigate, especially online, where people's guards are often up and hostility and harassment are common.

In order to help clear the air and provide a safe space for honest and genuine dialogue, we have assembled a cross-section of Tildes' LGBT community to whom you can ask questions. These volunteers have agreed to open up about their experiences, identities, and knowledge.

In this thread, you will be able to ask our panelists questions regarding anything you've ever wanted to know about being LGBT. Our goal is to provide you with meaningful answers, not judge you for your questions! For the purposes of this thread, LGBT refers to the umbrella term under which all minority gender and sexual identities fall.


Guidelines for Participation

Asking Questions
  • Questions will be afforded the principle of charity. Ask any questions you've ever wanted to know, especially those you might feel are "not okay" to ask elsewhere.
  • Feel free to ask informational questions (e.g. "What does 'pansexual' mean?"), experiential questions (e.g. "Are you out to your family? If so, how did they respond to you coming out?"), and opinion questions (e.g. "What are your thoughts on the various LGBT acronyms?").
  • You can ask questions to the whole panel or to specific members. If asking specific members, please ping them using an @username mention in your comment.
  • Follow-up questions are allowed and encouraged.
  • Not all questions have to be serious! It's totally okay to ask fun, non-serious stuff too.
Giving Answers
  • Panelists have the right to pass on any question they do not want to answer. While they might give a reason for passing, they are not required to do so.
  • Similarly, not all questions will receive answers from all panelists. We have a large group and don't want to overwhelm everyone with 10+ responses to every question.
  • Each panelist is speaking from their own experience and perspective, so you might find conflicting information in responses to a question, and that's okay! We're a diverse group of different people, not a unified monoculture!
Additional Notes
  • The panel's make-up is based entirely on who volunteered and is not meant to be representative of all identities under the LGBT umbrella.
  • Similarly, any one panelist's voice should not be taken as representative of the opinion of all those who share their identity.
  • Please remember that these panelists are choosing to share intimate and often difficult personal information. Please respect their disclosure in your responses -- they are putting themselves out there for you!
  • If you do not wish to see or participate in this thread for whatever reason, use Tildes' ignore topic feature to hide it from your feed.

Panelists

Here are the users who will be answering your questions:

@Algernon_Asimov
@CALICO
@Cleb
@emdash
@Gaywallet
@kfwyre
@patience_limited
@reifyresonance
@ShilohMizook
@Silbern
@tindall
@Whom

You can get more information on each in their bios below:

Full Panelist Bios
Name Identity Preferred Pronouns Bio
@Algernon_Asimov Gay man I'm "Algernon". I'm a middle-aged gay man living in Australia. I came of age during the 1980s, when "gay" meant "Got AIDS Yet?".
@CALICO Pan & Poly, Male-shaped, Agender, Non-transitioning Trans None/No-preference Late-20's, military brat, former military, current gov't contractor. Historically lived all over the US; in the past 18-months I've lived in three states and two non-US countries—currently Afghanistan. Out where it matters, closeted where it doesn't. Unmarried—probably forever—in a LT/LDR currently with just one person. Shameless hippie, hobbyist, & aspiring author.
@Cleb Genderfluid (Agender & Femme, also fine with just Non-Binary) They/Them, She/Her Early 20s, American, white, closeted in real life. Grew up in very conservative & religious area, still live here. Can talk about growing up like that, my struggle with fluidity/internalized transphobia/gender as a whole, things relating to trans culture on the internet, and any of the other standard fare trans and gender-nonconforming person questions.
@emdash. If you wanted to find my real name and social media profiles, you probably could, but keep it to yourself and don't be a dick, okay? Gay cis-male He/him Early 20s (wow there's a theme emerging) guy living in New Zealand. Software engineering degree, but I hate the industry, so working on my own business and studying to be a pilot instead (aka the backup plan). I also fly a paraglider for fun. I've always lived in New Zealand, but would love to live overseas. Have the Tinder/Taimi profile tuned to a fine fucking art (IMHO). Out to friends, family aren't informed since I'm not particularly close to them anyway.
@Gaywallet pan, poly, enby (nonbinary) they/them Early 30s, lived in California my whole life. Currently have 5 partners and feeling quite polysaturated. Big into raving, psychedelics, and general hippy stuff but with a queer focus. Out to friends and family, but not fully flying my flag at work (work in progress to happen this year).
@kfwyre gay cis male he/him/they/them Teacher. Happily married. Living in the US, and grew up in a very conservative Christian area. Came out in my 20s and dealt with severe depression and fallout with family.
@patience_limited Queer; intersex non-binary they/them/she/her Mainly in the sidebar. US, 50's, raised near a university town, married. White(ish).
@reifyresonance transfemme, queer, poly she/they 19, living in the southern US. Studied in China for a year and did a field research project on marginalized queer identities in Shanghai nightlife (talked to people in gay bars), so if anyone wants to hear my (white, American) thoughts on that, I'm game :). I also got to help start an LGBT organization at my school there! Spent the last six months or so doing computer programming, and was part of the workplace LGBT affinity group. (Also, general transgender questions.)
@ShilohMizook (Shiloh) Bisexual, lean mostly towards guys. Cis male. He, Him. 17, I go to a Catholic school in Florida, but the people there are pretty accepting, so I'm out to everyone. My parents try to avoid the subject. I've never actually met another non-straight guy in real life, which has kind of frustrated me, but it's okay.
@Silbern Gay male He/him I'm an early 20's white guy with Asperger's Syndrome studying Computer Science. I come from a military family, so I've traveled a lot and lived in many places that were across the spectrum in gay friendliness. I currently live in Hawaii, which might be relevant both for my answers as well as possible time zone limitations.
@tindall bisexual transgender female she/her Software engineer just getting out of college and into my first long-term full-time gig, at a company making cancer screening software. Grew up all over the place (East Coast, then Texas, then California) and I'm now in the Midwest. I care a lot about making the world a gentler and more supportive place for everyone, and I try to apply my skills to do that.
@Whom (...and Scarlett) Trans lesbian She Early 20s, raised in the rural US (Wisconsin) studying English Education. Oh, and white. That's the important bits for context. I'm very familiar with current youth trans culture on the internet (which is so pervasive within the community that it's necessary for understanding what it's like being young and trans), so I'm well-equipped to answer questions relating to that or, of course, the trans experience as I see it. I might also be a decent resource to ask about how mental illness (particularly depression, severe anxiety, and light dissociation) fits into the whole picture.

The door is open. Ask away!

334 comments

  1. [3]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    An Open-Ended Conclusion I'm not officially closing this thread or anything, so feel free to continue discussions or asking questions, but I feel that it has run through the majority of its...

    An Open-Ended Conclusion

    I'm not officially closing this thread or anything, so feel free to continue discussions or asking questions, but I feel that it has run through the majority of its lifespan, and I couldn't be happier about how it turned out.

    A big thanks to the panelists and all others who answered questions and shared your insights and experiences. You courteously and courageously shared your lives and yourselves with us, and we are richer for it. Thank you to those of you who asked questions. Your curiosity was the starting point for great answers and discussions. And thank you to anyone who read the thread or checked in on it. With all the myriad ways you can spend your time, you chose to spend some of it here. Thank you all for being with us.

    I appreciate everyone for extending the principle of charity and engaging with others with civility and care for their shared humanity. This is the kind of thread I wouldn't attempt elsewhere on the internet for fear of it going poorly or devolving into fighting. I very much appreciate that it didn't happen here.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I know it means the world to me to be able to have a venue to speak about my experiences and identity without fear of harm, conflict, or retribution. It is not something I take for granted, as it wasn't too long ago in my life that putting myself out there as gay came with potential and actual threats to my safety. Even if you're someone who disliked or disagreed with my answers, I appreciate you for not meeting me and my colleagues with hostility.

    I hope this thread was an educational and affirming experience for everyone. When I first recruited panelists, I was worried I would only find one or two. Instead I was met with over 10, with additional LGBT people who joined the thread to answer once it was live. When I first launched the thread, I was worried there would be no questions and it would barely spark any discussion. Again, my fears were proven completely wrong. I see this thread as emblematic of the community we are creating here. Throughout all the questions, answers, and discussions here I have laughed, smiled, and even shed a few tears, but mostly my heart has swelled with pride for both my LGBT community as well as my Tildes compatriots.

    Tildes continues to be my favorite place on the internet. A heartfelt thanks to all of you who continue to make it a wonderful place to be.

    16 votes
    1. tindall
      Link Parent
      I absolutely agree. Almost nowhere else on the 'net have I ever felt safe enough to engage seriously and continuously with TERF rhetoric as I did here, and it's never been a conversation with as...

      I absolutely agree. Almost nowhere else on the 'net have I ever felt safe enough to engage seriously and continuously with TERF rhetoric as I did here, and it's never been a conversation with as much mutual respect and understanding obvious in it as happened here. Thank you to you, kfwyre, and to everyone on and off the panel for making it that way!

      9 votes
    2. Eylrid
      Link Parent
      Thank you for putting this together, and thank you to the panelists for putting yourselves out there to answer questions. It's testament that Tildes is working as intended that this thread got...

      Thank you for putting this together, and thank you to the panelists for putting yourselves out there to answer questions.

      It's testament that Tildes is working as intended that this thread got over three hundred comments and all of them are respectful, quality discussion (except presumably the four Deimos removed). All on a subject that shouldn't be controversial, but sadly is on a lot of the internet.

      8 votes
  2. [7]
    suspended
    Link
    Are any of you a member of a religious community that accepts you for who you are? Have any of you left a religious community for reasons associated with how you identify your self?

    Are any of you a member of a religious community that accepts you for who you are? Have any of you left a religious community for reasons associated with how you identify your self?

    21 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I grew up in a very conservative Christian community and was deeply religious. Being gay was the impetus that caused me to lose my faith. I've actually written several comments about it on Tildes...

      I grew up in a very conservative Christian community and was deeply religious. Being gay was the impetus that caused me to lose my faith. I've actually written several comments about it on Tildes before, so if you're interested in diving in deep to my past a bit, you can see some previous commentary here, here, and here. Now I totally get that it's unfair to just drop several thousand-word links, so I'll highlight the part that most directly answers your question as to where I stand now, as a formerly religious gay person:

      There was a long period of time where I couldn't even bring myself to enter a church building. It's taken a lot of time and healing to be able to separate out the good that I experienced from the bad and not just toss out the whole idea of religion as harmful and my whole childhood as tainted. I can't in good conscience ignore the damage it did to me, as it was a primary factor in my longstanding depression and consequent suicide attempt, which is a story so many like me share but were not as lucky as I to live through it. Nevertheless, it also gave me meaningful formative experiences and influenced my worldview in positive ways, some of which are still central to who I am.

      I no longer feel like I cannot walk into a church. I don't attend, but I will go with my parents when I visit them. I do it for my mom, mostly, as I know it warms her heart to see her non-believing gay son in the Lord's house. I no longer feel unwelcome, just as I am no longer unwelcome towards Christians. I love communal singing and still enjoy the experience of praise and worship songs even though I no longer believe the words. During the sermons I focus on the good parts: compassion, self-reflection, self-improvement, love for others. The message of Christianity can be a powerful force for individual and collective good if it is not directed by hatred. Just as I have grown, so has the Church, and now so many more Christians are coming down on the side of love and understanding. I cannot allow my personal bitterness to corrupt that, as it is the way forward. Central to faith is forgiveness, but that concept can be harder to find in a secular world and a secular life.

      For a long time I lived in my hurt and let it calcify into resentment. It has taken me a long time to see that giving up my anger is not capitulation but restoration. Though I still have questions and even some frustrations, I no longer hold others in contempt, even for the very real harm they did to me. I no longer hold myself in contempt either. It is an ugly emotion from which nothing good grows, but that can be hard to see from within it, when it is raw and it is justified and it is more real than anything else. I instead center myself in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness. These are the truths I learned from the Church, and they are boundless and transformative when unconstrained by hate.

      22 votes
    2. Silbern
      Link Parent
      I've never left per se, but the rhetoric about being gay being immoral was a big part of why I never got involved with the church growing up, despite being baptized and my older brother being a...

      I've never left per se, but the rhetoric about being gay being immoral was a big part of why I never got involved with the church growing up, despite being baptized and my older brother being a fairly active member. I figure if god can't accept me for being gay, despite it being his will that made me gay (if he exists at all), then he must not be very benevolent, which would make him rather a hypocrite.

      18 votes
    3. envy
      Link Parent
      I'm not lgbtq.... but I participated in a christian church for a year, and was good friends with an openly gay man. Due to his religious beliefs, he chose to not have sex, and he chose to not have...

      I'm not lgbtq.... but I participated in a christian church for a year, and was good friends with an openly gay man.

      Due to his religious beliefs, he chose to not have sex, and he chose to not have a relationship.

      We hung out, and he occasionally cooked a meal at my place with our limited supplies of groceries in the fridge. The pastor gave me weird, concerned looks regarding our friendship, so I sadly dont think he was fully accepted by the church, in spite of his huge personal sacrifice for his beliefs. Which is very sad, as he was the only one at the church who visibly did sacrifice for his beliefs.

      He had really sad eyes.

      When I left religion for good, we stopped hanging out.

      18 votes
    4. Cleb
      Link Parent
      I grew up in a conservative, Christian family and I stopped going to church sometime around 10 or 11 years old. The kind of church we always went to as a kid was very hellfire & brimstone type...

      I grew up in a conservative, Christian family and I stopped going to church sometime around 10 or 11 years old. The kind of church we always went to as a kid was very hellfire & brimstone type sermon, bone-chilling things to hear as a young kid, it pushes its way into your mind and to this day I have a lot of trouble shaking thoughts about how my being queer is "degenerate" or "going to get me a ticket straight to hell". I quit going because it was not something that I felt like I was gaining anything from, and in real life I have a repulsion to entering Christian churches specifically now because they bring up these awful memories and feelings of confusion + some internalized homophobia that claws its way to the surface every now and then. I'm aware of friends I have on the internet who have found Christian spaces that accept queerness to varying degrees, but I've never managed to find any of these places in my life. As for what I believe now, I align with a more agnostic view now.

      14 votes
    5. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      I grew up Catholic, but my family barely ever went to church. I pray pretty often and consider myself a fairly religious person, but the Church's worldly corruption and anti-LGBT stance keep me away.

      I grew up Catholic, but my family barely ever went to church. I pray pretty often and consider myself a fairly religious person, but the Church's worldly corruption and anti-LGBT stance keep me away.

      10 votes
    6. patience_limited
      Link Parent
      I've been hesitant to respond to this one, since it's another potential identity breadcrumb. But it's relevant to the conversation in that I did grow up with a "church" that was openly accepting...

      I've been hesitant to respond to this one, since it's another potential identity breadcrumb. But it's relevant to the conversation in that I did grow up with a "church" that was openly accepting of LGBT+ people, at a time when that was nearly unheard of.

      Rabbi Sherwin Wine's Humanist Judaism congregation wound up being the refuge for LGBT+ people who had been driven out of other congregations and/or their families. [Rabbi Wine himself came out immediately after his mother passed away.]

      My parents stopped going by the time I was a young teen, and my suspicion is that the congregation was both a little too bourgeois affluent and a little too sexually liberal for their tastes. I recall some whispering about a transwoman who'd joined, when that was still a rarity. My mother was also quite conscious that the Humanists had become scandalous among her Conservative and Orthodox relations. But I think I might have had an easier, less isolated and confusing period of self-discovery if I'd come of age in that community.

      As an adult non-binary atheist, I don't have much use for an explicitly patriarchy-centered celebration of faith history and culture. However, as /u/kfwyre mentioned, I really miss the beauty and community in ritual and song. I've been considering joining up with the local Unitarians, who have a significant Humanist faction, just for the opportunity to share celebrations and charitable activity motivated by a sense of common humanity.

      6 votes
  3. [26]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    First of all, sorry if I use any inappropriate terms. This is not my first language. I make an effort to get it right, but at some point, I gotta make the comment! What do you feel when you see a...

    First of all, sorry if I use any inappropriate terms. This is not my first language. I make an effort to get it right, but at some point, I gotta make the comment!

    • What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?
    • Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?
    • Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?
    • Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters? (and the equivalent for other media)
    17 votes
    1. [4]
      emdash
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Nice direct questions! These are the sort of ones I think about a lot of the time. When I joke with close friends, I usually play the "oh look, another boring straight couple" card as a joke when...

      Nice direct questions! These are the sort of ones I think about a lot of the time.

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      When I joke with close friends, I usually play the "oh look, another boring straight couple" card as a joke when you see that sort of affection in public. If he's hot, I might throw in a "damn, what a waste" comment too (I like snarky on-point humour). Of course in seriousness, it's not actually about their genders, it's about how they're displaying themselves—is it appropriate given the social context is a far more important question than the sexuality their displaying, at least to me.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      Apart from a tiny voice inflection (which along with an accent twinge that often gets me confused with being a 'strayan), I don't get identified as gay, so I don't particularly like people asking when will I get/do I have "a girlfriend". There's a great substitute word that's more inclusive and that's "partner". That's like, how to not be heteronormative 101. Plus, some of us aren't only LGBT too, we're shy, or we don't feel comfortable in the social situation anyway. If someone says "partner", it stops me having to correct them—and it saves a ton of fucking anxiety on my part. It also shows a level of empathy/consideration for others to use the term "partner", in my view. Idk if I'd go to the level of "offended" though. Irritated? Sure.

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Sometimes I'll wear a pride watch band 🤷‍♂️, but apart from that if they want to become friends with me that information will fall out naturally over time. Not a big fan of forcing social situations onto myself 😅.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters?

      I don't play video games, but songs? Heck yes! It's always singing about "she" and "her", nothing feels relatable, and to me is one of the more "lonely" parts of being gay. It's also kind of the reason I'm loving this song from Josef Salvat at the moment, no direct lyrical references to inclusivity, but the video makes it very obvious.

      21 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Interesting what you say about songs. I believe this is not the same in every language, and also no the same for LGBT people. But, maybe because Portuguese is ridiculously gendered, we learned to...

        Interesting what you say about songs. I believe this is not the same in every language, and also no the same for LGBT people. But, maybe because Portuguese is ridiculously gendered, we learned to abstract the gender of a song. So, if I listen to a love song about a dude, I change the gender in my head. Sometimes, the singer changes the lyrics to match their orientation. LGBT or not.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          emdash
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I hear you on that. I can only speak for myself here, but personally I love the fact that Spanish and Portuguese are gendered. It makes the languages a bit harder to learn (I was so confused...

          Yeah, I hear you on that. I can only speak for myself here, but personally I love the fact that Spanish and Portuguese are gendered. It makes the languages a bit harder to learn (I was so confused as to why meat is considered feminine in Spanish, wouldn't have guessed that), but is wonderfully expressive.

          English in general is not the language I would settle on if we could pick one as being 'universal'. Too many dumb rules and bizarre edge cases.

          8 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            hahahah.... the problem was that you were trying to find logic where there was none!

            I was so confused as to why meat is considered feminine in Spanish

            hahahah.... the problem was that you were trying to find logic where there was none!

            6 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Aroused? Depends on how attractive they are. No, most people assume I'm straight for some reason. Nope So long as they aren't stereotypical in nature, sure.
      • What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      Aroused? Depends on how attractive they are.

      • Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      No, most people assume I'm straight for some reason.

      • Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Nope

      • Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters?

      So long as they aren't stereotypical in nature, sure.

      12 votes
    3. [2]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      My primary concern has nothing to do with the identities of the people and is instead about whether their displays of affection are appropriate for the context in which they're happening. I also...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      My primary concern has nothing to do with the identities of the people and is instead about whether their displays of affection are appropriate for the context in which they're happening. I also try not to judge the orientation of a couple I don't know, so I don't look at two people and go "oh, look at that straight couple" as I have no idea how they identify.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      Nope, unless it's egregious or I feel it's malicious. For example, I saw my last doctor across a span of four years, and each time I'd go in for an appointment, he'd ask me how my wife was (despite the fact that he knows I'm gay and married to a man). The first couple of times were forgivable, but the later ones I could attribute only to either neglect or malice, neither of which are good looks for anyone, much less the doctor directly treating me. I no longer see him.

      Mostly though it's a source of comedy or awkwardness when people assume I'm straight. I get it less now than I used to because it's easy to use the word "husband" with a stranger and flag myself immediately, but if I'm simply out and about with my husband, a non-negligible number of people assume we are brothers. We look somewhat alike but seemingly everywhere we go, people ask us if we're brothers (which, like, why is this a thing people even ask about? Where is that conversation supposed to go from there?). It'll happen at the grocery store, at restaurants, when we went to buy a bed together (no joke!). One time we had a contractor to our home. He spent 30 or so minutes with us looking at the various parts of the house, all the while seeing our wedding photos on the wall and various other "coupley" things we have around our home. At the end of the walkthrough, as he was giving us his estimate for the work, he casually asked "so, you guys must be brothers, right?"

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Right away? No. Over time, yes. I think visibility is crucially important, and my being open signals to other people that they can be open with me as well. Being open about my queerness has allowed plenty of people to feel more comfortable expressing things about themselves, whether they were LGBT or not, because it's a way of conveying that we don't need to be ashamed of who we are.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters? (and the equivalent for other media)

      Absolutely! Give me more LGBT everything! (To be fair, we're in a boom right now, and we've never had better representation across all forms of mass media, so I'm happy with the way things are headed)

      12 votes
      1. joplin
        Link Parent
        Oh yeah, when my wife and I got married a few people said we looked like brother and sister. I was like, WTF? Why would you say that? (We are both of Mediterranean descent, but that's about it.)...

        We look somewhat alike but seemingly everywhere we go, people ask us if we're brothers (which, like, why is this a thing people even ask about? Where is that conversation supposed to go from there?).

        Oh yeah, when my wife and I got married a few people said we looked like brother and sister. I was like, WTF? Why would you say that? (We are both of Mediterranean descent, but that's about it.)

        Apparently in some cultures "that means you'll have a good marriage and beautiful kids," or something? Well jokes on them - we never had any kids. It was very off-putting, to say the least.

        3 votes
    4. [6]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      Nothing much, really. I like seeing love and lust and all that displayed in public. It's a very positive and very human thing which grounds me when I feel detached from the world around me. Not a...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      Nothing much, really. I like seeing love and lust and all that displayed in public. It's a very positive and very human thing which grounds me when I feel detached from the world around me. Not a very queer-related answer, but in my case it doesn't really interact with my queerness much at all!

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      Yes. Luckily, I'm starting to dress in a way that makes that a rare thing, but assumptions that I was straight / cis bother the hell out of me when they happen. Along the same lines:

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Yes! I've found that visibility is one of the most important things for me. I don't want to blend in with cishet people, I want to stick out like a sore thumb and force the world around me to consider my existence. That makes shit harder in some ways, and makes it easier in others. Undoubtedly, I'm far less safe like this...I just find that the political weight of being visibly queer and the validation that comes from it outweigh my safety. It also reduces the problems that come from being unsure if I'm safe around someone. If I'm visibly queer, people who are likely to hurt me are probably going to react right away (or people who are positive will act according to that). One of the worst things about being closeted was when I'd find out that friends are queerphobic and expressed it around me. Doesn't happen so much anymore.

      I tell my friends now that my visibility is so important that it should be maintained even in silly scenarios: if there's someone pointing a gun to my face and they ask my friend "Is this person trans? If you answer yes, I will shoot them right in front of you." then they should still answer "Yes."

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        I see, but how to you literally achieve that? Some people just can't take a hint, you know? I am part of this group. Especially because nowadays external presentation is frequently at odds with...

        I want to stick out like a sore thumb and force the world around me to consider my existence

        I see, but how to you literally achieve that? Some people just can't take a hint, you know? I am part of this group. Especially because nowadays external presentation is frequently at odds with sexual orientation. Some very androgynous people can, nevertheless, have a traditional sexual orientation. And some apparently conventional people can easily be LGBT. And, because I'm so frequently wrong, I tend to avoid guessing altogether. You might need to quite literally tell it to my face :P

        6 votes
        1. Whom
          Link Parent
          The purse, long hair, and poor attempt at a somewhat high voice are usually enough, but I also have pronoun and trans flag pins on multiple sides of me to make the message very clear. At the very...

          The purse, long hair, and poor attempt at a somewhat high voice are usually enough, but I also have pronoun and trans flag pins on multiple sides of me to make the message very clear.

          At the very least, it'll trip people off that something is up :P

          9 votes
      2. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Also: how do you feel about other LBTQ people that, either as a trace of their personality or out of fear of backlash, are not as overt and/or politically active (in those issues) as you are?

        Also: how do you feel about other LBTQ people that, either as a trace of their personality or out of fear of backlash, are not as overt and/or politically active (in those issues) as you are?

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          Whom
          Link Parent
          I don't mind it at all! Not everyone feels safe or comfortable being like that, and that's okay! I think there's room to encourage being loud and outspoken without putting down people who can't or...

          I don't mind it at all! Not everyone feels safe or comfortable being like that, and that's okay!

          I think there's room to encourage being loud and outspoken without putting down people who can't or don't want to be that way.

          11 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            Yay! +1 reasonable person in the world!

            Yay! +1 reasonable person in the world!

            5 votes
    5. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Neutral or awkward, depending on where and how it's happening. But I feel the same if I see a gay couple being overtly sexual in public. There's a time and place for these things. No. It's not...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      Neutral or awkward, depending on where and how it's happening. But I feel the same if I see a gay couple being overtly sexual in public. There's a time and place for these things.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      No. It's not like people can see that I'm gay. Until I tell them, they don't know. And, given that over 90% of people are straight, it's a natural assumption to make.

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Not at all. I worked at my current office for a few months before the topic of my sexuality even came up. I don't march into places carrying a rainbow flag. :)

      In fact, some people may never know I'm gay - not because I'm hiding, but because not everything about me is everyone else's business.

      Also, if I think someone might react badly to me being gay, I'll probably never tell them. I've worked in teams where I've told some co-workers I'm gay while deliberately avoiding telling other co-workers I'm gay.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters?

      No. But I don't play videogames with straight characters, either. :P

      7 votes
      1. [6]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        But do you play videogames at all? :P If not, how do you feel about the representation of LGBT in other media?

        But do you play videogames at all? :P

        If not, how do you feel about the representation of LGBT in other media?

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          No. Sorry, I thought that was clear. The most complicated games I play on computers/tablets/phones are digital versions of boardgames: Catan, Splendor, Pandemic. No characters, just tokens and...

          But do you play videogames at all? :P

          No. Sorry, I thought that was clear.

          The most complicated games I play on computers/tablets/phones are digital versions of boardgames: Catan, Splendor, Pandemic. No characters, just tokens and meeples.

          I'm not of the videogames generation. And when I watch other people play them, I don't see the appeal. I especially hate shoot-'em-up games and kick-and-punch games, which a lot of them seem to be. And the puzzle-oriented games I've seen are just too opaque for me ("Why did you click on that box? How did you know you were supposed to do that? It just looks like background decoration to me."). I do have a city-building game a friend gave me a long time ago, but it has a real-time element (people keep immigrating to the city and I have to build facilities for the ever-growing population), and I find I just can't keep up after a while. I like games/puzzles where I can stop and take my time thinking about my next move, not where I'm forced to react in real-time to random events being thrown at me.

          If not, how do you feel about the representation of LGBT in other media?

          It has improved, but it could be better.

          These days, it seems like every second music performer is "queer" in some way or other (not that they weren't before, but now it's like a selling point).

          I don't watch a lot of movies, so I don't know about that.

          In the TV shows I watch, it seems like either there are no LGBT characters at all, or the whole show is about characters being LGBT. I don't often see a character who's LGBT without it being the central defining trait of their character. It would be nice to see someone who's LGBT without the show making a big deal of it.

          5 votes
          1. [3]
            aphoenix
            Link Parent
            In "The Flash" there is a character (the police captain) who is gay. It is in no way a defining characteristic; he is the police captain first and foremost, and his sexuality is really only...

            It would be nice to see someone who's LGBT without the show making a big deal of it.

            In "The Flash" there is a character (the police captain) who is gay. It is in no way a defining characteristic; he is the police captain first and foremost, and his sexuality is really only incidental, and barely touched on at all except as a tertiary plot point in a couple of episodes (the police captains wedding is coming up). I felt it was well done; his sexuality was just a fact, it was not a focus, and the storylines involved would have been the same if the couple was heterosexual.

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              I know there are examples. I watched 'The Flash' recently, and I now recall the gay captain. There's the flip-side of the issue: if a character's sexuality is too incidental, then it doesn't...

              I know there are examples. I watched 'The Flash' recently, and I now recall the gay captain. There's the flip-side of the issue: if a character's sexuality is too incidental, then it doesn't register!

              However, this isn't common. (Or maybe I'm just not watching the right shows.)

              4 votes
              1. aphoenix
                Link Parent
                I wasn't trying to provide a counter to your point, which I fully agree with, I was just trying to share an example I watched recently that fit your criteria, in case you hadn't seen it.

                I wasn't trying to provide a counter to your point, which I fully agree with, I was just trying to share an example I watched recently that fit your criteria, in case you hadn't seen it.

                4 votes
          2. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Try watching Brooklyn 99. It has a good amount of non-standard characters but the show is not about being LGBT. It does address related issues but in a smart way. Other than that it’s a pretty...

            Try watching Brooklyn 99. It has a good amount of non-standard characters but the show is not about being LGBT. It does address related issues but in a smart way.

            Other than that it’s a pretty good police sitcom — some people may find it too sweet for 2020.

            4 votes
    6. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      It might make me a little uncomfortable, but it would be the same with a non-straight couple. Nope Not particularly, but it helps if I'm having a conversation with someone about relationships and...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      It might make me a little uncomfortable, but it would be the same with a non-straight couple.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      Nope

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Not particularly, but it helps if I'm having a conversation with someone about relationships and stuff.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters? (and the equivalent for other media)

      As long as the character happens to be LGBT, and has an actual personality apart from it.

      7 votes
    7. [2]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      Happy that they're happy. That's a mixed bag. I'm not offended, per se, but more embarrassed for feeling a sense of relief. My professional life was complicated enough based on gender, without...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      Happy that they're happy.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      That's a mixed bag. I'm not offended, per se, but more embarrassed for feeling a sense of relief. My professional life was complicated enough based on gender, without having to explain my family arrangements - I was not out at work.

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Not that you'd know it here, but I'm a very reserved, private person IRL, and even casual friends don't know all the details. I show up to rallies, organizing meetings, bars, conferences, etc. and if the rest of the world discovers who I am, I'll deal with it. Otherwise, it's not necessarily the first thing I want people to know about me.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters?

      As /u/gaywallet said, representation delights me - I'd love it if everyone can see themselves reflected in powerful characters. That being said, when I game, I do abstract games and high-level sims - I'm not necessarily playing a character myself.

      6 votes
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        On the one hand, it's sad that something like that makes you feel the way everyone should feel all the time. On the other, please do not feel embarrassed for reacting like that. That is a...

        embarrassed for feeling a sense of relief

        On the one hand, it's sad that something like that makes you feel the way everyone should feel all the time.

        On the other, please do not feel embarrassed for reacting like that. That is a consequence of a world that is backwards and stupid, in which LGBT people are "trained" to be on their toes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with you, and you don't owe any explanation to anyone regarding your personal life.

        4 votes
    8. Cleb
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Neutral feelings or uncomfortableness if it's too far. I feel the same for queer couples too, I think PDA in general is cool, holding hands and kissing and whatnot but if you're getting like.......

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      Neutral feelings or uncomfortableness if it's too far. I feel the same for queer couples too, I think PDA in general is cool, holding hands and kissing and whatnot but if you're getting like.... really grindy or something and you're in a mall and not in a nightclub or something, that's not really something I'm a fan of.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      Not offended, but I kinda feel weird about the default assumption for me being that I'm a guy/masculine person who likes girls exclusively. I guess that's on me though because I don't really do a lot of outward presentation in the way of looking feminine or gender neutral, but that's more for my own safety than an actual expression choice.

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      I like to be out to people when possible, right away or not depends on the circumstance. On the internet, I'm far more likely to come out with my gender and sexual identity because it offers a lot more freedom in picking and choosing the people you hang around. I also don't offer much info about my irl life so doxxing isn't a very large worry for me.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters? (and the equivalent for other media)

      Yeah. I would love more media to have rep for all kinds of queer people.

      6 votes
    9. Silbern
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      A lot of this really depends on what "overtly sexual" means. I live in Hawaii, and we have a pretty lax view of Personal Displays of Affection compared to the rest of the US, and quite a bit of...

      What do you feel when you see a straight couple being overtly sexual in public?

      A lot of this really depends on what "overtly sexual" means. I live in Hawaii, and we have a pretty lax view of Personal Displays of Affection compared to the rest of the US, and quite a bit of the world. I've seen people straight up making out in public, with pretty aggressive kissing and everything, nobody bats an eye. I don't have a problem with that.

      What would cross the line for me would be something like visibly groping their crotch or slapping their ass in an obvious manner, which is inappropriate. But my feelings on that are really no different than if they were gay.

      Do you feel offended when someone assumes you are straight?

      No, not at all! 90% of people are, so I wouldn't begrudge someone from making a guess without any external sign. That being said, I always appreciate it extra when someone goes out of their way not to make an assumption or asks in a gender neutral way (I.E do you have a Significant Other instead of girlfriend)

      Is it important for you that everyone knows you're LGBT right away?

      Nope. I'm not closeted so it's pretty likely I'd tell someone soon if we were good friends, but I have no problem waiting until it's relevant. I'm pretty sure many of my casual acquaintances think I'm straight.

      Would you like to play more videogames with LGBT main characters? (and the equivalent for other media)

      Absolutely. I'm not saying every game or movie needs a gay character, but it's always cool to see one, especially if they're done in a relatable / non-stereotypical manner.

      5 votes
  4. [12]
    suspended
    Link
    I hope no one minds if I ask another question. Who do you consider to be some of your heroes and why?

    I hope no one minds if I ask another question.

    Who do you consider to be some of your heroes and why?

    13 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Similar to @emdash, it's not that I have specific people that I really look up to so much as any LGBT representation warms my heart. I grew up without any direct role models, thinking I was...

      Similar to @emdash, it's not that I have specific people that I really look up to so much as any LGBT representation warms my heart. I grew up without any direct role models, thinking I was entirely alone in this world. As such, as I grew older, I started to think anyone who was publicly out, celebrity or otherwise, was someone I considered downright amazing.

      But, moreso than any one individual, I'm mostly inspired by community. I know this is a total cop out of an answer, but so much of being LGBT for me, especially in my formative, freshly-out phase, was about who we were together rather than who we are individually. To quote from LGBT-favorite Rent, it was about "being an us for once, instead of a them." In the advocacy groups I was in, I admired everybody for different reasons. There was the first trans person I ever met who showed me the sheer power of courage, and there was the first bisexual person I ever met who taught me that it was possible for someone to love anyone, regardless of their physical makeup or gender. There was an outspoken lesbian woman who showed me how important it was to make my dignity non-negotiable, and there was her straight twin sister who showed me that you didn't have to be LGBT to be a part of us.

      Each of these people is someone who inspired me and who I learned from, but more than anything else, our collective unity was what really put wind in my sails. Each of us was only one person, but together we were something so much more.

      I get that this sounds a bit hokey, but it's true, and it's something that has stuck with me. When I made the original request for panelists for this thread, I expected to get maybe one or two responses. Instead, I got ten, and very quickly. This is what we mean when we talk about an LGBT community. Just thinking about that gives me the feeling of frission. I have goosebumps on my arms as I type this. While there are certainly individual people and unique trailblazers that I admire, more than any of them on their own, I admire our ability to support one another, stand by one another, and be an us.

      Look around at the people in this thread, and there you'll see my heroes.

      13 votes
    2. [3]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      The StarCraft player Scarlett, an incredible talent and visibly trans woman. I was figuring my gender shit out right around the time gamergate was kicking up, so queerphobia and misogyny were more...

      The StarCraft player Scarlett, an incredible talent and visibly trans woman. I was figuring my gender shit out right around the time gamergate was kicking up, so queerphobia and misogyny were more rampant than ever in gaming circles, which happened to be my primary interest at the time. If I'm honest, I hadn't really thought much about transness before that point. I had probably casually played into some casually transphobic shit, but I hadn't really engaged with the idea enough to say what I "really" thought about it. I just...hadn't. Seeing Scarlett play (and be a fucking brilliant player) made me pay attention and see the debates happening on Reddit and Twitch chat, eventually leading me down the rabbit hole of Reddit queer resources (community resources are still the one thing Reddit is the absolute best for, even if the website is hellish as a whole) and figuring out everything about me.

      While I think the importance of queer representation is somewhat overblown at times, she's a reminder to me how meaningful representation can be on its own. She was not a particularly outspoken trans advocate. Her existing in the community while being trans forced so much debate and thought all around, even though she was almost entirely passive. I'm sure that was an incredible amount of weight for someone who just wanted to compete. I dunno, I'm typically in the camp that wants to hold up the most radical activists we have, but every once in a while I step back and remember the impact that Scarlett had on me for simply existing in a space I also occupied.

      She meant so much to me that I stole her username and took it as my first name, as I love to repeat near-daily. :)

      14 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        Scarlett was an inspiration. She put up with so much shit early on. I wouldn't have been able to deal with it like she did.

        Scarlett was an inspiration. She put up with so much shit early on. I wouldn't have been able to deal with it like she did.

        7 votes
      2. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        I had the chance to see her play at DreamHack Montreal some years ago, it was a blast. The home crowd really gave it up for her all weekend long. I always appreciated how the StarCraft community...

        I had the chance to see her play at DreamHack Montreal some years ago, it was a blast. The home crowd really gave it up for her all weekend long. I always appreciated how the StarCraft community banded together to learn about and fight off transphobia when Scarlett hit the scene, they were quite ahead of their time in support of a fan favourite player.

        7 votes
    3. patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      My middle school gym teacher? She divorced and came out just after I got to high school, in a community which was not welcoming. She was a fabulous teacher who had so much support from her...

      My middle school gym teacher? She divorced and came out just after I got to high school, in a community which was not welcoming. She was a fabulous teacher who had so much support from her students and their parents that the school district couldn't fire her. It didn't hurt that she was my first major crush, either.

      Edit: I could be a little more specific and say that she did rescue me, to some extent, from a bitchy horde of pubescent girl-monsters who loved to humiliate anyone even slightly different. After I showed up in a middle school girl's locker room with perceptible chest hair, she was my shoulder towel on multiple occasions, and let me understand that I wasn't a complete freak.

      11 votes
    4. emdash
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I wouldn't say I specifically have LGBT heroes; but I certainly feel safer and better about myself when I see other quasi-popular people nonchalantly display their LGBT persuasion openly. By...

      I wouldn't say I specifically have LGBT heroes; but I certainly feel safer and better about myself when I see other quasi-popular people nonchalantly display their LGBT persuasion openly. By quasi-popular, I don't mean celebrities per se, but just, say, YouTube channel owners I watch, or people at certain companies who are out—those that can make LGBT relationships look like an unphased, normal part of their life (and why shouldn't it be!). A gay YouTuber walking down the street impressing people with his mandarin (bet someone can guess this one 😉) is way more relatable than some billionaire tv superstar!

      There's no need to really mention who these people are, it's more about an unsung many than a lauded few, for me.

      10 votes
    5. [2]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      I don't really have heros per se, but in terms of people I admire that another Tildes user might know, I would say that Linus Torvalds and Alan Turing would be big ones. The former invented the...

      I don't really have heros per se, but in terms of people I admire that another Tildes user might know, I would say that Linus Torvalds and Alan Turing would be big ones. The former invented the kernel that's used on more devices on this planet than any other, and in combination with the GNU project, created the backbone that powers most of the internet today. The latter perfected a tool to break the Enigma cipher (The Bombe), which was crucial in speeding up the end of WWII and is estimated to have saved over 14 million lives. He was also very instrumental in the foundation of the theory of modern Computer Science, such as through inventing the Turing test and the Turing machine. As a Computer Science student myself who uses Linux, I study and use what these two have invented pretty much every day.

      10 votes
      1. suspended
        Link Parent
        I consider both Torvalds and Turing to be incredibly admirable people. I thought The Imitation Game was a fairly decent depiction of Turing's work.

        I consider both Torvalds and Turing to be incredibly admirable people. I thought The Imitation Game was a fairly decent depiction of Turing's work.

        7 votes
    6. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I don't know if I have heroes, as such. I've never really understood what people mean when they say "X is my hero." (It's not like I've been rescued from a burning building by anyone!) Instead, I...

      I don't know if I have heroes, as such. I've never really understood what people mean when they say "X is my hero." (It's not like I've been rescued from a burning building by anyone!) Instead, I have people whose work I admire, or people who I have taken as role models in some way.

      Isaac Asimov is a major role model for me. He was rational, and intelligent, and a humanist, and a good communicator. These are traits that I value in others and in myself. (He had some other, less desirable, traits, but I don't need a role model to be perfect in all ways. I can pick and choose which traits I'll emulate.)

      I respect Greta Thunberg. Wow. Just... wow. To have a global impact like that at 16 years old, about something so important. I'm gob-smacked. She's an amazing young woman.

      If you're looking specifically for gay role models, I admire Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry. Wilde went to jail for a principle. He stood up and faced the judgement of his society without flinching. He could have thrown Alfred Douglas to the wolves and saved himself, but he stayed true to himself and paid the price. Fry is clever and witty and intelligent and honest. And they're both creative men: writers, actors, etc.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        I'm straight and Oscar Wilde was one of the first writers to have a huge impact on me as a teenager. I carried a copy of his complete writings with me for five years. I must say that I would not...

        I'm straight and Oscar Wilde was one of the first writers to have a huge impact on me as a teenager. I carried a copy of his complete writings with me for five years. I must say that I would not have known about Oscar Wilde if it wasn't brought to my attention by Steven Patrick Morrissey of The Smiths.

        6 votes
        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I also enjoy his writing. I was first introduced to it as an actor: one of my earliest stage roles was as Algernon Moncrieff in 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (in hindsight, I'm not sure I was...

          I also enjoy his writing. I was first introduced to it as an actor: one of my earliest stage roles was as Algernon Moncrieff in 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (in hindsight, I'm not sure I was experienced enough to do the role justice, but I enjoyed doing it). I liked the play, so I read more by Wilde, and then started reading about him. I've got a Complete Works volume, plus a fancy edition of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' (a gift from a friend), along with various biographies and a collection of letters.

          5 votes
  5. [24]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I see a couple of people here who identify as "queer". This question is directed to those people (and anyone else who identifies as "queer"). What does "queer" mean to you, personally? I'm not...

    I see a couple of people here who identify as "queer". This question is directed to those people (and anyone else who identifies as "queer").

    What does "queer" mean to you, personally?

    I'm not talking about "queer" as an umbrella term, as in "We're all members of the queer community" or "I'm a member of the queer community", where "queer" includes a wide variety of sexualities and gender identities. I get that.

    I'm talking about "queer" as a personal descriptor, as in "I am a queer person" or "I am queer". I don't get that. I never have. It seems vague to me, and I've never been able to pin down a definition for this word in this context.

    What does that mean to you?

    Also, what should it mean to me? When you tell me "I am a queer person", what am I supposed to take away from that? What have I learned about you?

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      To me that's the beauty of it. I identify as queer because it lets others know that I fall into the greater community of LGBTQ+ folks, without exhaustively trying to describe everything that is...

      It seems vague to me

      To me that's the beauty of it. I identify as queer because it lets others know that I fall into the greater community of LGBTQ+ folks, without exhaustively trying to describe everything that is 'queer' about me.

      What's the point of a specific descriptor, when people are so varied? No two queers are the same, nor are two gays, or two bears. It doesn't really matter how specific you get, people are still going to be different and descriptors seem quite pointless to me. If I want to know about someone, I ask, and they can self identify. If being a lipstick lesbian is an important part of their personality, they'll tell me, just like they'll tell me if they like to go hiking or enjoy making music or whatever they feel is important to them.

      Labels serve a purpose when people self-identify, and queer is a way for me to self identify to an abstract idea because that idea is important to me, but I disagree with extreme categorization because I don't feel like I fit neatly into very many boxes.

      20 votes
      1. [4]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Thank you for taking the time to answer my question but I don't understand your answer. But what does it mean when someone self-identifies as "queer"? I know what "gay" means, and "bear", and...

        Thank you for taking the time to answer my question but I don't understand your answer.

        If I want to know about someone, I ask, and they can self identify.

        But what does it mean when someone self-identifies as "queer"? I know what "gay" means, and "bear", and "lipstick lesbian". But what does "queer" mean for an individual?

        queer is a way for me to self identify to an abstract idea

        What is that abstract idea? If you tell me you're queer, what do I know about you?

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          That they belong to one of those communities? Why must there be a certain level of specificity for someone to self identify? I mean, I could sit here and list everything but for me I point it out...

          But what does it mean when someone self-identifies as "queer"? I know what "gay" means, and "bear", and "lipstick lesbian". But what does "queer" mean for an individual?

          That they belong to one of those communities? Why must there be a certain level of specificity for someone to self identify?

          What is that abstract idea? If you tell me you're queer, what do I know about you?

          I mean, I could sit here and list everything but for me I point it out because I'm proud of being associated with queer culture. Queer people have done a lot of society and acceptance and not just for themselves but for other marginalized communities as well. Queer people are loving, kind, people who are not afraid to speak their mind and stick up for our shared humanity.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I thought the point of self-identifying was to explain oneself to others. I use the identifier "gay" to tell other people something about me: I'm attracted to other men. What does the identifier...

            Why must there be a certain level of specificity for someone to self identify?

            I thought the point of self-identifying was to explain oneself to others. I use the identifier "gay" to tell other people something about me: I'm attracted to other men. What does the identifier "queer" tell me about your sexuality and/or gender?

            I point it out because I'm proud of being associated with queer culture.

            So it's a group-identifier, not a personal label. "I align myself with these people", rather than "I am A" or "I like B".

            9 votes
            1. Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              There are very few situations in which someone needs to know about my sexuality or gender. If it's important or relevant to the conversation and I feel like they have the right to know, I can go...

              What does the identifier "queer" tell me about your sexuality and/or gender?

              There are very few situations in which someone needs to know about my sexuality or gender. If it's important or relevant to the conversation and I feel like they have the right to know, I can go into specifics, but those labels get trotted out a lot less often than 'queer' because that's my identity more than specific aspects of my gender and sexuality are my identity.

              So it's a group-identifier, not a personal label. "I align myself with these people", rather than "I am A" or "I like B".

              Aren't all labels kinda like that anyways? As I stated before, no two hikers are the same. Sure they both enjoy hiking but why they enjoy hiking may differ pretty extremely. In fact, someone who enjoys hiking may not even identify as a "hiker".

              11 votes
    2. smores
      Link Parent
      Hi @Algernon_Asimov :) First of all, I really appreciate your trying to understand better how others use this word and what its value is to them. I think there's one other piece of this that I...

      Hi @Algernon_Asimov :) First of all, I really appreciate your trying to understand better how others use this word and what its value is to them.

      I think there's one other piece of this that I haven't seen explicitly laid out (though @Gaywallet and others have touched on it). Not everyone has actually figured out the bounds of their boxes. I have a few friends that call themselves queer because they know that their sexuality is more complicated than heterosexual, but they either haven't had enough non-hetero relationships (some of them still live in a world where coming out isn't totally safe, either physically or emotionally) or just don't see the value in (and therefore haven't taken the time to) find the exact set of labels that fit them.

      I can take myself as an example (it's not the best example but I know it well). I'm a man, and I've only dated women. Until late high school/college, I was only interested in women. Or at least, I only considered women as options ("gay" was still very much a bad word when I was in high school). I now think that pansexual is probably the most accurate term to describe my sexuality (I have and have had sexual and romantic feelings for men, women, trans and nonbinary people), but I've also been with the same woman since the first half of college and it's not unlikely that I'll never be in a relationship with anyone else (which is good for me, I'm not unhappy about this fact!).

      I'm in a long term heterosexual relationship, so my sexuality is taken for granted and almost never comes up in conversation. Really only my fairly close friends (and partner!) know that I'm not heterosexual. I'm not 100% sure how I would identify if someone straight up asks (this has never happened), but queer makes sense to me. I know that straight is not the right answer, and I think that "bi" and "pan" have associations and connotations that I might not fully understand or identify with.

      I think you're right in your other comments in this thread that queer is often a word used by more "activist" members of the LGBT+ community, and that, given the context, that is sometimes the right thing to "get" from someone telling you that they're queer. I also think that sometimes "I'm queer" means "I'm not totally sure, but it's not the thing that everyone else seems to be, and I feel 'other' enough that I'm using this word to separate myself from how most people identify".

      18 votes
    3. [11]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      I call myself "queer", not because it comes with any particular current LGBT+ political or gender studies formulation, but because it's an explicit re-appropriation of what I and the people I...

      I call myself "queer", not because it comes with any particular current LGBT+ political or gender studies formulation, but because it's an explicit re-appropriation of what I and the people I associated with got called in grade school.

      What I think I'm saying is that what I am is valid, regardless of whether others deem it so or not. It's a term of solidarity with everyone else who got called "queer", "faggot", "lezzy", etc. Kind of an, "If you're going to cast me out, here I am with all these people who are my friends and lovers, regardless of the label."

      Not quite done yet - there's some meaning specific to my time and locale as well. When I got to the lovely, supposedly liberating college environment with all the other gloriously strange people, I ran headfirst into lesbian separatist politics. So, double-outcast for sometimes associating with those horrible penis-bearing people. "Queer" had a very specific meaning there, too, which was, "I am okay with people who are okay with me and my sexual predilections."

      13 votes
      1. [10]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        So, "queer" doesn't say anything about your sexuality or your gender. It's not like me saying I'm gay, which tells people I'm sexually attracted to other men. "Queer" is a political statement for...

        So, "queer" doesn't say anything about your sexuality or your gender. It's not like me saying I'm gay, which tells people I'm sexually attracted to other men. "Queer" is a political statement for you, rather than about your identity. It says "I align myself with this group of outcasts". It's more like describing someone as "liberal" or "progressive", rather than "gay" or "transgender".

        Is that right?

        If so, that would explain why I've never understood it. I was trying to understand "queer" in the context of sexuality or gender, rather than as a political label.

        6 votes
        1. [9]
          patience_limited
          Link Parent
          It very much does say something about my sexuality and gender - that what I am is othered, on the basis that I'm not heterosexual or cisgender. The thing is, I wear three interrelated identity...

          It very much does say something about my sexuality and gender - that what I am is othered, on the basis that I'm not heterosexual or cisgender. The thing is, I wear three interrelated identity labels - intersex, pansexual, and non-binary; all that's neatly covered under the "queer" umbrella. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

          14 votes
          1. [8]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            But, telling me what you're not doesn't help me understand what you are. It's like if I told you "This thing in my hand is not a vegetable and is not meat." That's not as helpful as saying "This...

            that what I am is othered, on the basis that I'm not heterosexual or cisgender.

            But, telling me what you're not doesn't help me understand what you are. It's like if I told you "This thing in my hand is not a vegetable and is not meat." That's not as helpful as saying "This is an apple."

            If you tell me you're intersex, pansexual, and non-binary, I know what that means, and I've learned something about you.

            I don't know what I'm supposed to learn about you when you tell me you're "queer".

            6 votes
            1. [7]
              patience_limited
              Link Parent
              Perhaps that I, and other people, aren't immediately comfortable explaining all the details in introductory conversation with strangers? I'm sorry, that was rather short with you... I should add...

              I don't know what I'm supposed to learn about you when you tell me you're "queer".

              Perhaps that I, and other people, aren't immediately comfortable explaining all the details in introductory conversation with strangers?

              I'm sorry, that was rather short with you... I should add that, as you suggested, it's also an expression of solidarity, but without infinitely taxonomising ourselves when even we queers aren't certain of our taxonomy. As others here have indicated, sometimes we're still finding our own boundaries, and those boundaries aren't necessarily permanent, either.

              18 votes
              1. Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                Sorry. I'll back off now. I half-expected my question about "queer" would end up frustrating me and others. This discussion has never gone well in the past, but I thought I'd give it another go...

                Sorry. I'll back off now.

                I half-expected my question about "queer" would end up frustrating me and others. This discussion has never gone well in the past, but I thought I'd give it another go here.

                Thanks for trying!

                6 votes
              2. [5]
                AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                Then why state such? Items are brought up in conversation to converse about them. People don't introduce themselves as secret government agents because they don't want to be asked about it. An...

                Perhaps that I, and other people, aren't immediately comfortable explaining all the details in introductory conversation with strangers?

                Then why state such? Items are brought up in conversation to converse about them. People don't introduce themselves as secret government agents because they don't want to be asked about it. An artist won't introduce themselves as an artist and then say "I don't want to talk about it" or "I'm not a sculptor or musician" when asked about their art.

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  patience_limited
                  Link Parent
                  It's a different context than talking about a profession or other aspects of casual conversation. For instance, I don't necessarily want to say, "I'm intersex", because that's opening the door to...

                  It's a different context than talking about a profession or other aspects of casual conversation.

                  For instance, I don't necessarily want to say, "I'm intersex", because that's opening the door to a discussion of personal medical details (intersex, BTW, has a lot of variations).

                  Likewise, a non-binary person may not want to say, "I'm probably transgender, but the surgical technology isn't good enough for me to undertake a complete medical transition."

                  A pansexual person might not want to have to explain, "I'm attracted to all genders, except really femmy girls."

                  As you can see, even in friendly, welcoming communities, this is a level of personal disclosure that's not what you may want to get into when you've just exchanged names.

                  10 votes
                  1. [3]
                    AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    Profession is just an example. Replace it with "Hello, it may not be apparent, but I'm a panda. I don't want to discuss it even though I'm the one that brought it up." Which is my point. If you're...

                    Profession is just an example. Replace it with "Hello, it may not be apparent, but I'm a panda. I don't want to discuss it even though I'm the one that brought it up."

                    As you can see, even in friendly, welcoming communities, this is a level of personal disclosure that's not what you may want to get into when you've just exchanged names.

                    Which is my point. If you're in a casual conversation, you've just exchanged names, and you don't want to talk about what queer means to you (since it's apparent it has no concrete defintion), why are you mentioning that you're queer?

                    1. [2]
                      patience_limited
                      Link Parent
                      If you disclose that you're heterosexual, or gay/lesbian, how comfortable would you feel going immediately to talking about your genitalia? Or detailed sexual attractions and tastes? I've...

                      If you disclose that you're heterosexual, or gay/lesbian, how comfortable would you feel going immediately to talking about your genitalia? Or detailed sexual attractions and tastes?

                      I've certainly met people and been in contexts where someone will casually introduce themselves with something like, "I'm a femme leather switch mommy who likes it wet and is into branding", but that's not how I'm going to court the nice lesbian family downstairs on a first date.

                      12 votes
                      1. AugustusFerdinand
                        Link Parent
                        Personally, I'd feel very comfortable about sharing these things, but that is because I find conversations that make most people uncomfortable to be highly entertaining. However I'm not the norm,...

                        If you disclose that you're heterosexual, or gay/lesbian, how comfortable would you feel going immediately to talking about your genitalia? Or detailed sexual attractions and tastes?

                        Personally, I'd feel very comfortable about sharing these things, but that is because I find conversations that make most people uncomfortable to be highly entertaining.

                        However I'm not the norm, which kind of gets me to my counterpoint to the question you pose here. The norm isn't questioned because being so prevalent means that most questions about it have been answered or are obvious. A big part of my asking why you'd introduce yourself as queer if you don't want questions about it is because something that is unknown and undefined, even by you, is something that naturally garners questions from interested parties. And I'd assume that if you're speaking to someone, even if you've just met, and you've stated that you're queer, that the individual you're speaking to is an interested party.

                        1 vote
                2. Removed by admin: 4 comments by 2 users
                  Link Parent
    4. [6]
      reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      I use it to describe my sexuality. I started using it from a position of uncertainty - whenever I felt I had a label that fit perfect, I found an exception or some way it didn't fit, or how I...

      I use it to describe my sexuality. I started using it from a position of uncertainty - whenever I felt I had a label that fit perfect, I found an exception or some way it didn't fit, or how I experienced attraction changed. I knew I was a girl, and I knew I wasn't straight, so I started using "queer" as a descriptor.

      As time passed, I started feeling more comfortable with the label. It's not just a placeholder now. It's me saying "I don't think a precise definition would be helpful." It's vague on purpose - but also because I really couldn't enumerate everything, even to myself. And I'm okay with that! I actually like how I don't feel like I have to chase down a set of labels to define and bind my identity.

      If someone says they're a queer person, to me that means they're not cishet. As a word it also carries a set of connotations - it's a reclaimed slur, for one thing. It carries a feeling of weirdness, but in a positive way. In that way, it's rebellious - "we're here, we're queer, get used to it." It (usually) is aligned with an anti-assimilationist viewpoint. So if someone uses it to describe themself, I can pretty reasonably assume they endorse the above. It's to me, more about identity style/attitude towards identity than identity itself.

      9 votes
      1. [4]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Okay. What does it say about your sexuality? Are you attracted to women? To men? To transgender people specifically? To everyone? If you tell me you're "queer", what have I learned about your...

        I use it to describe my sexuality.

        Okay. What does it say about your sexuality? Are you attracted to women? To men? To transgender people specifically? To everyone? If you tell me you're "queer", what have I learned about your sexuality?

        If someone says they're a queer person, to me that means they're not cishet.

        Exactly. That's how I've always understood it. "Queer" is a "not" word: "I'm not cisgender and I'm not transgender." But someone telling me what they're not is not the same as them telling me what they are. It's like if I said "This thing in my hand is not a vegetable and is not meat." That's not as helpful as saying "This is an apple."

        It's to me, more about identity style/attitude towards identity than identity itself.

        This seems to be a common theme in the answers I'm getting so far. "Queer" isn't a description of someone's identity, but of their attitudes. It's more of a political label than a personal one. That might be why I've never understood it - I had the wrong context for it.

        4 votes
        1. reifyresonance
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That I'm not straight. In my specific case, it means "it's complicated." There's people all over the gender spectrum, and those people have bodies in all kinds of combinations, and I can't quite...

          If you tell me you're "queer", what have I learned about your sexuality?

          That I'm not straight. In my specific case, it means "it's complicated." There's people all over the gender spectrum, and those people have bodies in all kinds of combinations, and I can't quite so easily slice and dice my feelings towards them, whether romantic or sexual.

          If someone told me they were queer in reference to their sexuality, my set of assumptions would be that they are at least somewhat attracted to the "same" gender, and to non-binary people. I'd probably be wrong sometimes, and this is only for queer as a sexuality, but I think that's the best I can do.

          Edit: scratch that. I'm pretty sure I'm just making generalizations about queer people.

          "Queer" is a "not" word: "I'm not cisgender and I'm not transgender."

          It's worse than that! I know cis people who identity as queer, binary trans people, and while I don't know any personally, I'm sure there are some straight (trans) people who do.

          10 votes
        2. [2]
          reifyresonance
          Link Parent
          My girlfriend says it's "sorta like being a punk, but gay."

          My girlfriend says it's "sorta like being a punk, but gay."

          8 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I've had that impression in the past. In my experience, people who identify as "queer" are a lot more politically active than people who identify as "gay".

            Yeah, I've had that impression in the past. In my experience, people who identify as "queer" are a lot more politically active than people who identify as "gay".

            4 votes
      2. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Thank you - I think you explained it better than I could. I'm a contemporary of Algernon_Asimov's, I think - we didn't have a well-delineated language to discuss all of this. The World Wide Web...

        Thank you - I think you explained it better than I could. I'm a contemporary of Algernon_Asimov's, I think - we didn't have a well-delineated language to discuss all of this. The World Wide Web was barely a UNIX terminal system when we were coming of age. I'm still getting comfortable with the idea that I would probably have been best described as a "boi".

        4 votes
  6. [11]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Questions for my fellow panelists: So much of the focus on LGBT issues and discourse is negative (e.g. trauma, discrimination, etc.). What are, instead, some positive aspects of being LGBT? How...

    Questions for my fellow panelists:

    • So much of the focus on LGBT issues and discourse is negative (e.g. trauma, discrimination, etc.). What are, instead, some positive aspects of being LGBT? How has being LGBT enriched or brought meaning to your life?

    • Inspired by the end of @tindall's amazing post here, what are some of your "favourite little inconsequential things" about being LGBT?

    12 votes
    1. [5]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      I like these questions. While it's been hard in a lot of ways, my queerness has been one of the biggest sources of joy in my life. I love being queer and I love our people. Instant community +...

      I like these questions. While it's been hard in a lot of ways, my queerness has been one of the biggest sources of joy in my life. I love being queer and I love our people.

      • Instant community + instant connection

      • Along the same lines, there's inside jokes and references that I get to share with people I've just met. Transness nowadays among young people is such an incredibly Online thing and shockingly tightly knit. As repetitive as /r/traaa and the like may be, it's comforting knowing how many complete strangers I can fairly safely assume are grounded in the same things as me.

      • Gender euphoria: the overwhelming harmony when it all feels right.

      • The deep ties between gender and romance. Relationships between trans people tend to be be formed around intimate understandings of each others' experience with gender, a subject that we're all made to be experts in. We're likely to know how to validate each other, to share in progress (in self-understanding or in transition), to bond over the most intense moments of dysphoria, and most of all to feel understood in a way that can only come from shared experience. This is part of why I feel like my sexuality and gender are not the strictly different things that listing "trans" and "lesbian" separately implies, it's all one big beautiful whole to me.

      • The tendency toward self-reflection. I value people who are deeply interested in themselves and understanding how they work and think, and this is something you can see so much of in queer circles. Since we're not considered the default, we're forced to be familiar with ourselves and learn what's going on in our heads on our own. Imo, that makes for some of the most interesting people.

      • Skirt go spinny. So do dress.

      • The ritual of taking my HRT meds gives me peace. Taking the Girl Pills (and soon, injecting the Girl Juice) is a reminder that I'm moving forward and getting better. It's overwhelming.

      • HRT is fun! My body and head get to feel and do new things all the time! It's exciting!

      • I get to say "im gay" a lot. By the way, im gay. It's fun, right? Try it sometime.

      • I get to discover clothes and shit! My whole life I thought as little about this shit as I could get away with, but now this endlessly customizable character creator just opened itself up to me. I'm serious, that's the way it feels. Would I rather have had a healthier relationship with clothes which doesn't make this feel like a new discovery? Sure, but that isn't stopping me from enjoying this shit right now.

      • I get to relearn my relationship with sex. What am I actually into? What kinds of sex appeal to me with the massive changes happening to my body and the more open approach I can take to learning about myself now? I keep discovering new things that appeal to me and tearing out old hangups that I hadn't even realized I had. This shit's just better now.

      13 votes
      1. [3]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Late to the party as usual, but everything mentioned already, plus these: Astronauts talk about the overview effect, the feeling of awe you get from hanging off the Earth and being able to see the...

        Late to the party as usual, but everything mentioned already, plus these:

        • Astronauts talk about the overview effect, the feeling of awe you get from hanging off the Earth and being able to see the whole thing in perspective. I feel like I get to do that with gender and sexuality sometimes. I can be a naturalist of gendered behaviors and just have my mind boggled over and over again.

        • I've gotten to meet, commune with, and love some of the most thoughtful, kind, compassionate, creative, wild, generous, smart, versatile, exuberant, courageous, intuitive, passionate, witty people I could ever have conceived of existing, and they treated me like one of the family. I'm so damn grateful I'm in tears right now.

        • Dating all the genders - where do I begin? Life just isn't long enough.

        • Trivial - I'm strong like bull. That tiny genetic intersex kink comes with a funky cocktail of estrogens and androgens. I'm at 300 kg 1 RM leg press today after three weeks of getting back to weightlifting, and salute my hairy peasant Jewish foremothers who probably did carry actual cattle around.

        • Trivial (evil glee) - The double-take looks when people try and figure out how to gender me if I'm not dressing up polar. It takes me right back to Terry Pratchett's dwarfs.

        • Trivial - I get to wear costumes a lot, and have a wider range of wardrobe I can look good in than most men or women.

        • Trivial - I don't know if it's an ASD thing, but "queer" is among the words I love the feel and sound of saying.

        10 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Amen. Being pansexual is the best. I truly see it as a privilege to be able to find everyone attractive, regardless of their chromosomes, gender, etc. How terribly limiting being attracted to only...

          Dating all the genders - where do I begin? Life just isn't long enough.

          Amen. Being pansexual is the best. I truly see it as a privilege to be able to find everyone attractive, regardless of their chromosomes, gender, etc. How terribly limiting being attracted to only the opposite, or same sex, must be... Variety is the spice of life! :P

          6 votes
          1. patience_limited
            Link Parent
            It's really distracting, sometimes? And then, hell, I'm a stumpy 55 year-old mostly butch something-or-other, so I'll lean back, and to quote Pete Seeger, "think of the places my get-up has been"....

            It's really distracting, sometimes? And then, hell, I'm a stumpy 55 year-old mostly butch something-or-other, so I'll lean back, and to quote Pete Seeger, "think of the places my get-up has been". Go have fun, you kids.

            5 votes
      2. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I needed this level of wholesome this evening. Thank you.
        • Skirt go spinny. So do dress.

        I needed this level of wholesome this evening. Thank you.

        6 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I cannot stress how fucking empowering other queers are to me and the kind of support we lend to each other. Even over the course of this thread, I've both received and sent comments that have...

      So much of the focus on LGBT issues and discourse is negative (e.g. trauma, discrimination, etc.). What are, instead, some positive aspects of being LGBT? How has being LGBT enriched or brought meaning to your life?

      I cannot stress how fucking empowering other queers are to me and the kind of support we lend to each other. Even over the course of this thread, I've both received and sent comments that have absolutely brightened my day and made me smile, laugh, and even cry. Queer people are so good that I sometimes actively find myself seeking queer people out simply because I know they are going to be, at their core, nice people.

      Queer people also bring with them a huge amount of diversity and this diversity has spawned some seriously fucking cool progress in so many areas. Queer philosophy is absolutely fantastic and in my opinion has been the first real progress into uncharted waters that philosophy has seen in decades if not centuries.

      what are some of your "favourite little inconsequential things" about being LGBT?

      Queers have the raddest iconography. I love the symbol for pansexuality and polyamory in addition to the rad trans symbol @tindall posted. We're also literally everywhere on etsy and make lots of cool little trinkets as ways to broadcast our queerness to our queer peers.

      Also we throw way better raves than our straight counterparts.

      9 votes
    3. [2]
      rogue_cricket
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Hey! Although I did not sign up to be a panelist, I am a cis lesbian and I thought these questions were nice so I wanted to answer. I hope that is OK! Other folks have mentioned the connection and...

      Hey! Although I did not sign up to be a panelist, I am a cis lesbian and I thought these questions were nice so I wanted to answer. I hope that is OK!

      Other folks have mentioned the connection and built-in community you can get among fellow LGBT folks and I wanted to echo that. Finding my first group of queer friends was so fun and fulfilling.

      I was closeted until my early 20s so it was almost like I put off all the fun parts of being a teenager until then - the crushes, clumsy romance, the experimentation, the drama. Except I had the benefit of a bit more physical/mental maturity (and a bit more "being of legal drinking age," lol) from those few extra years. Of course there were negative aspects to the delayed adolescence as well, but now in my early 30s I look back on those days very fondly. What a gorgeous mess it all was!

      Also, straight dating culture seems... I don't want to say terrible, but I think I personally would be really unsuited for a lot of it. I watch my straight female friends go through it and I feel like if I were straight I would get exhausted after a week on Tinder and retire to Crone Spinster Island.

      Then, here's a few hodgepodge things! Some are more specific to me being a cis lesbian in a LTR with a cis woman.

      • Your dress? I think you mean our dress.
      • Complain openly about gross period issues knowing the other person can relate on a personal level.
      • Same goes for womens' issues & misogyny.
      • I feel relatively safe within my community to explore my own gender and gender expression.
      • I wholeheartedly love our shared humour. "X is homophobic, because I'm gay and it's inconveniencing me" has become a running joke in my household.
      • I have so many cool gay pins on my jean jacket. :p

      ETA as I think of them:

      • There's none of that "woman tends the house, man brings home the bacon!" sexist baggage in our relationship to work through.
      9 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Totally fine! I welcome any and all voices. I gathered the panelists simply because I wanted to ensure that there would be people around to answer questions besides myself, but the thread is by no...

        Hey! Although I did not sign up to be a panelist, I am a cis lesbian and I thought these questions were nice so I wanted to answer. I hope that is OK!

        Totally fine! I welcome any and all voices.

        I gathered the panelists simply because I wanted to ensure that there would be people around to answer questions besides myself, but the thread is by no means limited to them. Answer away. We're happy to have you!

        6 votes
    4. emdash
      Link Parent
      Matching with people in modern society, at least to me, feels like it's slightly tilted in favour for gay guys than it is for straight guys. Gay guys, for the most part, understand the contexts...

      Inspired by the end of @tindall's amazing post here, what are some of your "favourite little inconsequential things" about being LGBT?

      Matching with people in modern society, at least to me, feels like it's slightly tilted in favour for gay guys than it is for straight guys. Gay guys, for the most part, understand the contexts and inner mechanisms of others that also fall into that category, the relatability can be quite high. It's also much easier to score as a gay guy—I think I got to the stereotypical "99+ likes" within about 48 hours of joining Tinder. Hookups are literally trivial and not a big deal if that's what you're after. I wouldn't ever get near that number that quickly on straight Tinder.

      I have no idea how women operate for the most part, and frankly, I feel like most straight guys don't either. Luckily I don't have to worry about it.

      6 votes
    5. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      Sex is easy for gay men. I once compared notes with my straight brother, and he was jealous. ;) As a gay man, I know I'm not tied to the rules of society if I don't want to be. I have more freedom...

      Sex is easy for gay men. I once compared notes with my straight brother, and he was jealous. ;)

      As a gay man, I know I'm not tied to the rules of society if I don't want to be. I have more freedom than my straight peers.

      Being gay has given me the experience of being an outsider, and influenced my politics and morality. The rest of my family are conservative, racist, bigoted folks. I would have turned out the same if I hadn't been gay.

      6 votes
  7. [43]
    vord
    (edited )
    Link
    I know what I'm about to ask is a hugely sensitive issue, especially online. So much so that I've not discussed this online ever, and not even in person unless prompted by someone I know and trust...

    I know what I'm about to ask is a hugely sensitive issue, especially online. So much so that I've not discussed this online ever, and not even in person unless prompted by someone I know and trust is discussing in good faith. Consider this a testament to my faith that the Tildes community can have a more reasonable discussion than on most other public forums. There are some general questions below, but this is also a broader request for honest and constructive feedback. I'd like to understand why the following trains of thought are considered wrong, insensitive, or bigoted:

    The concept of gender identity does not exist, in part because it is not provable outside of an individual stating that it is true for them. It is merely a symptom of a society that presumes that only men can be masculine and only women can be feminine, and forces stereotypes based on that. Gender dysphoria is certainly a real problem some people suffer with, but why does it seem the first advice is often 'embrace stereotypes, take hormones, and get surgery' and not 'get therapy to come to terms with your body image and shun stereotypes.' Why is transmedicalism considered bigotry?

    I am a straight man, but I certainly have many feminine traits. Would I suddenly be considered trans if I insisted on going by 'Karen' instead of my real name? If I wear women's clothing exclusively? Shave my legs and beard? Wear makeup? Take hormones and mutilate my genitals? Is it possible to have a dividing line between 'straight person' and 'trans person' that does not descend into either transmedicalism or gender stereotypes? I've met a few self-identified trans people that do not have gender dysphoria, choose to wear a dress, shave, wear makeup, and go by a feminine version of their name. It often comes across as "I am trans because I present opposite stereotypes than my sex."

    Further, is it not possible, if not easy, for an abusive person to leverage this lack of a clear boundary to abuse and manipulate safe spaces in bad faith? Several lesbians and bisexuals I know conceal their true feelings about the current state of the trans community for fear of getting shunned out of their safe spaces for being labelled a TERF.

    10 votes
    1. [22]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      There are a couple of places that this argument fails, in my opinion. Neither does any other kind of pain, or love, or enjoyment. There is a level of trust implicit in any kind of empathy,...

      There are a couple of places that this argument fails, in my opinion.

      The concept of gender identity does not exist, in part because it is not provable outside of an individual stating that it is true for them.

      Neither does any other kind of pain, or love, or enjoyment. There is a level of trust implicit in any kind of empathy, respect, or even just general social interaction.

      Gender dysphoria is certainly a real problem some people suffer with, but why does it seem the first advice is often 'embrace stereotypes, take hormones, and get surgery' and not 'get therapy to come to terms with your body image and shun stereotypes.'

      I'm sure this is some people's experience, but it's not most trans people's. I expressed my gender dysphoria quite early in my life and was told to repress it, to deal with it in other ways (exercise, meditation, therapy), and eventually just ignored, until I spent my own time, effort, and money to find a new doctor, discuss the problem with a specialist, and get a treatment plan.

      So, I don't know that your perception of the situation is accurate here, especially the "embrace stereotypes" component. I am in a great many ways not a "stereotypical" woman, but I almost always pass as cisgender.

      Would I suddenly be considered trans if

      No. At least not by most trans people and allies I know. You would "suddenly be considered trans" if you said "I'm a woman" or "I'm trans". A great example of this is drag; one is not automatically trans just because one does drag, which involves all the things you mentioned here except for...

      Take hormones and mutilate my genitals?

      "Mutilation" is a very very specific concept. Consensual surgery is not that. May I ask why you're using that word here?

      Further, is it not possible, if not easy, for an abusive person to leverage this lack of a clear boundary to abuse and manipulate safe spaces in bad faith?

      Possible, maybe, but I don't think the situation you seem to be envisioning - a man pretending to be a trans woman in order to sleep with lesbians - is common or even extant. I've definitely never heard of it.

      for fear of getting shunned out of their safe spaces for being labelled a TERF.

      To be honest, the argument you present here is steeped in TERF logic - the term "mutilation" being used to make consensual and often very positive surgery seem violent, the concern about malicious actions which are very rare to the extent that I don't think an instance has ever been recorded, etc.

      If your argument is "no trans women should be allowed in women's spaces because they aren't women", people will call you a TERF, because that is the foundation of TERF logic.

      29 votes
      1. [2]
        moonbathers
        Link Parent
        I want to add onto this part: if you're not interested in dating trans women, but are otherwise cool with them, I don't think people would call you a TERF. It's everything else that @tindall talks...

        Several lesbians and bisexuals I know conceal their true feelings about the current state of the trans community for fear of getting shunned out of their safe spaces for being labelled a TERF.

        I want to add onto this part: if you're not interested in dating trans women, but are otherwise cool with them, I don't think people would call you a TERF. It's everything else that @tindall talks about that's TERF logic.

        12 votes
        1. tindall
          Link Parent
          Yes, I agree with that, absolutely. The "Exclusion" referred to is exclusion from spaces and movements, not one's bed.

          Yes, I agree with that, absolutely. The "Exclusion" referred to is exclusion from spaces and movements, not one's bed.

          10 votes
      2. [19]
        vord
        Link Parent
        Thank you. I definitely agree mutilation was a loaded word, and poorly chosen on my part. I suppose it came to mind because I also generally class circumcision (especially of a child) as...

        Thank you. I definitely agree mutilation was a loaded word, and poorly chosen on my part. I suppose it came to mind because I also generally class circumcision (especially of a child) as mutilation, and gender reassignment seems a far more drastic change. You've raised insightful points, but would like to clarify some of my context and ask a followup:

        a man pretending to be a trans woman in order to sleep with lesbians - is common or even extant. I've definitely never heard of it.

        'Sleeping with' is almost never the concern when this topic is discussed (I intentionally try to avoid the "woman with penis/man with vagina sexual preference" discussion as that's also a complicated subject on its own). It's more surrounding the forming of divisive rhetoric within communities that are supposed to be inclusive support groups. I guess that even if it's not a problem in reality, it's still part of the reason 'TERF logic' perpetuates, as those with these concerns are afraid of having that dialog for fear of being ousted or shunned.

        I expressed my gender dysphoria quite early in my life and was told to repress it, to deal with it in other ways (exercise, meditation, therapy), and eventually just ignored

        I will paraphrase my wife's take: "If someone had asked me at 6 years old if I was a boy, I would have said yes. Being a boy implied access to lots of cool activities that girls were discouraged from or were bullied for for liking. If I was 6 years old in today's culture, I may have been encouraged to drastically alter my body before I even discovered what it meant to be a woman."

        This is not to say I doubt your experience or the validity thereof, just that there exists a real possibility (especially for younger children), that expressing discontent with one's gender is due in no small part to societal stereotyping.

        I am in a great many ways not a "stereotypical" woman, but I almost always pass as cisgender.

        What meaning does 'passing as cisgender' have once gender stereotypes have been removed from the equation? I believe this is the crux of my confusion.

        6 votes
        1. tindall
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't know. I don't live in that world, sadly. The fundamental experience of my life is that people treat me very differently when the perceive my gender differently. When someone looks at me...

          What meaning does 'passing as cisgender' have once gender stereotypes have been removed from the equation?

          I don't know. I don't live in that world, sadly. The fundamental experience of my life is that people treat me very differently when the perceive my gender differently.

          When someone looks at me and thinks I'm a man performing masculinity, they treat me like a man.

          When someone looks at me and thinks I'm a woman performing femininity, they treat me like a woman. I'm in danger in all the ways women are always in danger.

          But when someone looks at me and thinks I'm a man pretending to be a woman - that is, when I don't pass as being cisgender - responses vary. I've had plenty of people be absolutely normal about it. I've also been ignored rudely, yelled at, told I'm not "a good cultural fit for this position" in places I'm absolutely qualified to work, and physically assaulted. It's not great.

          You talk about "gender stereotypes" as if they are a thing of the past. They are not, sadly.

          I suppose it came to mind because I also generally class circumcision (especially of a child) as mutilation

          The crucial difference here is consent. Do you consider adult circumcision is "mutilation"? If so, what about rhinoplasty? What about a double mastectomy in a situation where only a single is required to destroy a cancer?

          forming of divisive rhetoric within communities that are supposed to be inclusive support groups

          This is a real concern. I'd say that, as someone who most people in my life treat as a woman, and who experiences misogyny like any other woman, being excluded from spaces built to support people who experience that kind of violence and prejudice is pretty divisive.

          I guess that even if it's not a problem in reality, it's still part of the reason 'TERF logic' perpetuates, as those with these concerns are afraid of having that dialog for fear of being ousted or shunned.

          Which concerns, though? What is the actual concern? That's what I'm not sure I understand.

          If I was 6 years old in today's culture, I may have been encouraged to drastically alter my body before I even discovered what it meant to be a woman.

          You've made it clear that you're not interested in arguing about this, so I won't. I think you're factually wrong that this is happens more than very, very rarely.

          Even if it did, however... Let's examine the consequences. She might undergo a hormonal puberty (at a normal age, by the way - no responsible doctor would ever put a 6 year old on testosterone). She might, during middle or high school, develop a deeper voice, dark body hair, facial hair, larger muscles, a more significant body odor. She might hate her body, be horrified by the changes she's going through, be deeply depressed and dysphoric and suicidal.

          That's exactly what happened to me. But this hypothetical woman can simply... stop. All of society would support her, even if her parents were some kind of maniacs who wouldn't. She could tell any teacher or counsellor or doctor and they would stop treatment and call CPS. If, at age eight, she didn't like being put in tee-shirts and boy jeans, she could stop. If, at ten, she didn't like wearing button downs, she could stop. If, at twelve or thirteen, she hated the effects of testosterone on her body, she could just... stop.

          I didn't have that. I had to fight tooth and nail for years to break through the denial that society had drilled into me, and then again to actually get the treatment and support that finally pulled me out of my depression and dysphoria.

          Your hypothetical child would more than likely be just fine. I wasn't. It's a goddamn miracle that I'm still alive.

          EDIT: This Twitter thread is very good on this topic. Unrolled here for those who do not want to go to Twitter. https://twitter.com/FullmtalFemnist/status/1227164320955588608

          I think one of the things cis people get wrong about trans kids is the reason behind cross-gender behaviour they sometimes exhibit. It's not a symptom of dysphoria.

          It's a treatment for it. It's how you relieve the stress of knowing, at 5yo, that you're never going to be
          the adult you know you should be, and the grim grey reality of that drains all the colour from childhood. You know it's wrong when they call you by that name you hate so much. You know the greyness will never end.

          And then they wonder why we take our own lives so often?
          Everyone around us feels so happy to be who they are. We want desperately to have that same feeling, but the only time we can access it is by imitating the role we know we should have, even temporarily, to re-colour the world.

          It's a treatment.

          20 votes
        2. [5]
          Death
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'll try to be as respectful to your wife as possible but there are two huge assumptions baked into this take which I feel we really need to address: Wanting access to things which are commonly...

          I will paraphrase my wife's take: "If someone had asked me at 6 years old if I was a boy, I would have said yes. Being a boy implied access to lots of cool activities that girls were discouraged from or were bullied for for liking. If I was 6 years old in today's culture, I may have been encouraged to drastically alter my body before I even discovered what it meant to be a woman."

          I'll try to be as respectful to your wife as possible but there are two huge assumptions baked into this take which I feel we really need to address:

          "Being a boy implied access to lots of cool activities that girls were discouraged from or were bullied for for liking."

          Wanting access to things which are commonly believed to be reserved for a specific group (say, for example, one gender, like "boys") is not the same thing as wanting to be a member of that group. Not unless you assume that the restriction is actually justified and so entering into that group is the only viable solution. The goal of modern feminism has been pretty explicitly to break down these kinds of nonsensical gender restrictions, to instill the idea that bullying girls "for liking boy things" is irrational and cruel. The sensible solution here would be to challenge the norms, transition would just not be a solution to that issue. Besides, it's not like trans kids don't get bullied, if anything that would likely have made it worse.

          "If I was 6 years old in today's culture, I may have been encouraged to drastically alter my body before I even discovered what it meant to be a woman."

          I'm still trying to wrap my head around where this idea comes from. Because as people with the actual experience (see @tindall 's comment below) have told: getting people to actually sign off on transition in childhood is hard, and actually going through that transition is still hard. So the major ideas I can think of are:

          • online trans communities being very supportive of and insistent on the benefits of transition

          Which, I guess? Maybe? I don't know how pervasive that is but it ultimately doesn't matter because they're not the final arbiters or gatekeepers on transition. A medical expert is going to be. The one exception I can think of are hypothetically over-zealous parents who will order hormones on the black market but... those kinds of parents are a problem of their own, if not transition they'd probably find something else just as potentially destructive. Also sometimes these "real" stories are just plain bogus, so I'm kind of skeptical as to how pervasive it actually is or would be.

          • medical experts becoming too lenient with diagnoses and over-prescribing things like Hormone Replacement Therapy

          Now there's multiple angles to this. Probably the most valid one being concerns about pharmaceutical companies pushing for over-prescription to feed their bottom line. And, yes, that is a general issue in the US but that's also kind of the problem with the argument: this is not something inherent to broader acceptance of trans people, it's a problem of a system that needs addressing, regardless of anything else.
          The other angle would be concerns of ending up in a similar situation with other disorders which are argued to be over-diagnosed, ADHD comes to mind. But it sort of only works if either you believe medical transition and something like ADHD treatment to be similar (they aren't) or that medical professionals wouldn't be able to tell the difference, which would kind of disqualify them as medical professionals right out of the gate? If a doctor knows their stuff then they're still going to, at the very least, carefully inform the parents of a child for whom transition is being considered. Even with far more tuned down options like puberty blockers, which are usually the default choice for kids.

          10 votes
          1. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            To add to this, they aren't just the default choice, they are clearly delineated as the standard of care from multiple governing medical bodies and advisory boards.

            Even with far more tuned down options like puberty blockers, which are usually the default choice for kids.

            To add to this, they aren't just the default choice, they are clearly delineated as the standard of care from multiple governing medical bodies and advisory boards.

            8 votes
          2. [3]
            vord
            Link Parent
            Thanks, this is definitely insightful as I've apparently encountered at least some misinformation on the topic surrounding transitioning. To be clear, neither me or my wife are opposed to...

            Thanks, this is definitely insightful as I've apparently encountered at least some misinformation on the topic surrounding transitioning.

            To be clear, neither me or my wife are opposed to transitioning for adults, but for kids it's a blurrier line. The overdiagnosis of ADHD is definitely more in line with our trains of thought. Our bodies natural hormones already wreak havoc on our mental state in pubery... doesn't introducing more potentially make the problem worse? As I am not a doctor, the concept of a pubery blocker also sounds alarming.

            And I guess at least some of the concern is unqualified doctors and terrible therapists. My wife and I have both been privy to at least one of each for various aspects of our lives, and it makes us nervous.

            4 votes
            1. tindall
              Link Parent
              This is really fair! I think, in general, skepticism towards such meds is warranted, until they are studied. Fortunately there's some great research on this - by and large they are very safe, and...

              As I am not a doctor, the concept of a pubery blocker also sounds alarming.

              This is really fair! I think, in general, skepticism towards such meds is warranted, until they are studied. Fortunately there's some great research on this - by and large they are very safe, and have quite good outcomes for trans kids. Mayo Clinic has a great summary.

              Our bodies natural hormones already wreak havoc on our mental state in pubery... doesn't introducing more potentially make the problem worse?

              Generally, HRT is indeed hormone replacement therapy - blocking some hormones and replacing them with others. Starting HRT when one would normally be going through natural puberty often means having a more controlled amount of hormones in one's body! And hey - if a trans kid doesn't get their right hormones during their first puberty, we have to go through puberty twice, which I can attest is definitely a wild ride.

              11 votes
            2. Death
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I understand. As somebody whose family has had to deal with well-meaning but misguided therapists I understand how such experiences can make you more suspicious of the profession. However, I...

              And I guess at least some of the concern is unqualified doctors and terrible therapists. My wife and I have both been privy to at least one of each for various aspects of our lives, and it makes us nervous.

              I understand. As somebody whose family has had to deal with well-meaning but misguided therapists I understand how such experiences can make you more suspicious of the profession. However, I personally had to learn to move past these experiences and seek out therapy for myself, and had to realise that the existence of bad psychologists should not be condemnation of the field or the profession at large. And I can honestly say that's been for the better.

              Being sceptical and asking our medical professionals be competent and held responsible is the right attitude. But it shouldn't let us keep people in need from seeking out help.

              5 votes
        3. [12]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          And who would be doing this hypothetical encouraging?

          I will paraphrase my wife's take: "If someone had asked me at 6 years old if I was a boy, I would have said yes. Being a boy implied access to lots of cool activities that girls were discouraged from or were bullied for for liking. If I was 6 years old in today's culture, I may have been encouraged to drastically alter my body before I even discovered what it meant to be a woman."

          And who would be doing this hypothetical encouraging?

          4 votes
          1. [11]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            The child's parents. Psychologists. Doctors. You ask leading questions to which the answers are obvious. Why?

            The child's parents. Psychologists. Doctors.

            You ask leading questions to which the answers are obvious. Why?

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              Which parents? Which doctors? This is not the experience of literally any trans person I know. It's so, so hard to get healthcare professionals to even take us seriously, let alone "pushing"...

              Which parents? Which doctors? This is not the experience of literally any trans person I know. It's so, so hard to get healthcare professionals to even take us seriously, let alone "pushing" people to do things they don't want to.

              The closest you'll get is informed consent clinics that will do HRT with just a form signature, but one had to actively seek that out

              8 votes
              1. [3]
                Algernon_Asimov
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Where I live, there are transgender specialists embedded in major children's hospitals, children socially transitioning before puberty, children taking hormone blockers when they start puberty -...

                Where I live, there are transgender specialists embedded in major children's hospitals, children socially transitioning before puberty, children taking hormone blockers when they start puberty - all supported by parents and counsellors.

                And there are also conservative commentators who are in panic mode because they believe all these children are being "pushed" into changing their gender when they're supposedly too young to make that decision.

                EDIT: Added "they believe" to clarify my meaning.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  tindall
                  Link Parent
                  Wow. That sounds... Well. I could have had a much better life if I'd had access to that as a child, let's just say that. Three doctors in a row told me that "get fit" was the right solution to...

                  Wow. That sounds... Well. I could have had a much better life if I'd had access to that as a child, let's just say that.

                  Three doctors in a row told me that "get fit" was the right solution to what was pretty clearly gender dysphoria, though of course 10-year-old me didn't know that.

                  7 votes
                  1. Algernon_Asimov
                    Link Parent
                    These services didn't exist as recently as 10 years ago. They're still new and developing - and facing social pushback from certain groups. But they are there. Your transgender successors are...

                    These services didn't exist as recently as 10 years ago. They're still new and developing - and facing social pushback from certain groups. But they are there. Your transgender successors are growing up in a better world than you did. Good for them, but bitter-sweet for you.

                    3 votes
            2. [6]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              Psychologists and doctors would absolutely not be encouraging someone to "drastically alter their body." I've also never met a set of parents (including the most accepting ones) that would...

              Psychologists and doctors would absolutely not be encouraging someone to "drastically alter their body."

              I've also never met a set of parents (including the most accepting ones) that would actively encourage this.

              I'm asking questions because there's a clear misconception here - one of which it sounds like you hold as well. This is simply not how transitioning works. Transitioning starts with a huge focus on mental health and understanding. The goal is for the potentially trans person to understand what they need and want and to get them to critically evaluate themselves before taking any action.

              5 votes
              1. [5]
                Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                What? As I just finished saying, we have medical professionals who specialise in dealing with transgender children and adolescents - and parents who take their children to those medical...

                Psychologists and doctors would absolutely not be encouraging someone to "drastically alter their body."

                I've also never met a set of parents (including the most accepting ones) that would actively encourage this.

                What? As I just finished saying, we have medical professionals who specialise in dealing with transgender children and adolescents - and parents who take their children to those medical professionals. They actively encourage transgender people to follow the treatment that will make them happy: social transitioning before puberty, hormone blockers during puberty, and appropriate surgery in adulthood.

                I'm not saying they push children into this against their will. I'm saying they encourage children and teenagers who are transgender to investigate their options and do what makes them happy.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  The set of key words after encourage are drastically alter their body. I'm making a hard stance here because I know the kind of slippery slope arguments that go on in the minds of bigots. This is...

                  The set of key words after encourage are drastically alter their body. I'm making a hard stance here because I know the kind of slippery slope arguments that go on in the minds of bigots.

                  This is absolutely not what they are encouraging. They are encouraging the kids to re-evaluate and re-examine. In the case that these children still wish to go forward the steps are in the exact reverse order of "drastically altering their body" - they socially transition and take hormone blockers for what may be quite some time before they follow through with hormone therapy. It's also important to note that all of this is aligned with the child's wishes after appropriate examination and there may be no surgery planned or ever.

                  To be clear this isn't an attack on you or what you are saying, it's the phrasing that @vord used and the kind of attacks that transgender people face. People often don't understand what actually goes on and they think kids are being kidnapped and force fed hormones (I know someone, personally, who has been accused of that by more than one person) or other absurd ideas.

                  9 votes
                  1. [2]
                    vord
                    Link Parent
                    I wholeheartedly acknowledge that my phrasing needs work, and I deeply apologize if anything came off as an attack. This thread has been immensely helpful, even if it's going to take some time to...

                    I wholeheartedly acknowledge that my phrasing needs work, and I deeply apologize if anything came off as an attack.

                    This thread has been immensely helpful, even if it's going to take some time to digest.

                    9 votes
                    1. tindall
                      Link Parent
                      I'm really glad it's been helpful. It definitely didn't come across as an attack, to me; the concepts and concerns you're expressing are really prevalent, primarily because self-identified TERFs...

                      I'm really glad it's been helpful. It definitely didn't come across as an attack, to me; the concepts and concerns you're expressing are really prevalent, primarily because self-identified TERFs have been spreading them around. It's similar to the "bathroom predator" argument - terrifying if you think it's a real problem, not really based in logic, but quite hard to disprove or argue against.

                      7 votes
                2. tindall
                  Link Parent
                  Thanks a ton for clarifying what you meant here! I didn't understand your tone the first time you mentioned this.

                  Thanks a ton for clarifying what you meant here! I didn't understand your tone the first time you mentioned this.

                  4 votes
    2. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Thank you for your participation in this thread, both here and in other comments. This is a difficult and often fraught topic to broach, and I want to thank you for being open, thoughtful, and...

      Thank you for your participation in this thread, both here and in other comments. This is a difficult and often fraught topic to broach, and I want to thank you for being open, thoughtful, and reflective.

      Much of your comment has been addressed by others, but there's one question you asked that I don't want to leave unexamined:

      Further, is it not possible, if not easy, for an abusive person to leverage this lack of a clear boundary to abuse and manipulate safe spaces in bad faith?

      Your question gets at a really tough concept -- one that I, like you, found difficult to wrap my mind around initially. Fraudulent self-disclosure can feel like a terrible, obvious social exploit -- a sort of permissions error that lets anyone generate their own credentials and then go about wherever they please. A lot of people look at that system and think it needs a bugfix: if we simply change the permissions or more clearly delineate credential requirements, people won't be able to gain access where they shouldn't!

      I totally get that line of thinking. In fact, it took me a long time to figure out what was wrong with it. Luckily, I think we actually have a really great parallel here on Tildes that can shortcut my more roundabout shakedown of this idea. One of @Deimos's founding beliefs for Tildes is "Trust people, but punish abusers.". Here's how he words it:

      The large majority of users on a site, generally, behave in good faith and are only interested in legitimately participating and contributing. However, there is always a group of users actively trying to undermine others, and even though they are usually a tiny minority, sites often have to build in such a way to prevent these bad-faith users from being able to do much damage.

      This tends to mean that many, potentially, powerful tools cannot be added to the site, since malicious use of them would be too dangerous. Instead of restricting capabilities by needing to design around the worst way any tool could be used, Tildes will default to trusting users to behave in good faith, and punish people that take advantage of that trust. Punishments may involve losing access to certain tools or capabilities, being banned from communities or the site as a whole.

      Even though this is ostensibly not about LGBT identities or community spaces, it still has acute resonance. Much of LGBT identity discourse is based around the idea that we should trust someone's self-disclosure, and that self-disclosure shouldn't be subject to gatekeeping or any form of external verification. This works for the majority of us, but there will be people who seek to exploit that trust. I don't believe we should change the criteria for identity in order to avoid exploits; I believe we should critique or redress those doing the exploiting.

      A common example of an identity exploit would be the "attack helicopter meme", which is a bad faith interpretation of identity disclosure targeted at trans people. There isn't anything particularly novel about it, as all it does is highlight the fact that people can lie about who they are, which isn't anything specific to being trans. If I introduce myself to someone and tell them my name is Roger, they'll likely believe me even though I just lied to them! I'm not actually Roger! Ha HA! The idea that I can lie to someone about my name doesn't mean that we need to institute more rigorous requirements for names or show better proof of them when talking to a stranger. Instead, it simply shows that a particular individual is willing to breach the common trust that undergirds most social interaction. They, "Roger", are the problem, not the idea that we trust one another.

      Furthermore, I think there's a lot of potential harm in making rigid, externally verifiable definitions for identities. Not only will there be plenty of edge cases that would make drawing any sort of line uncomfortable for those very close to it, but the rhetorical thrust of self-identification is that we are allowed our own self-determination and agency. Only I can know myself and my feelings, and no one else can know those feelings better than me. Certainly we all have our blind spots and cognitive distortions, but when it comes down to it, the only person with constant, unfettered access to the workings of my brain and body is me. Being able to define what that brain and body represents, on our own terms, using common language pooled from others, is the basis for who we are. Trusting in that process for others is what lets them be who they are.

      In fact, LGBT people have, for a long time, worked to tear down the codified doubt and barriers we've faced in achieving self-determination. Probably every LGBT person alive can tell you about someone who has rejected their self-disclosure or acted like they knew better than them. I spent years listening to people tell me "you just haven't found the right girl yet" when I'd let them know I was gay. Or, better yet, they believed that I actually was interested in women deep down inside, but I was just choosing to go after men for some inexplicable reason. Having other people tell you falsehoods and grand assumptions about your own person is patronizing and limiting. When those assumptions are backed by widespread societal beliefs and prejudices, it can be downright suffocating.

      Ultimately, I very much value the efficacy of self-disclosure, because I think it's one of the most powerful tools we have in this world. Honesty is what lets us believe in others, trust them, and build relationships with them. It's what lets us put ourselves out into the world in a meaningful way. How many of us have told people online things we'd never say to someone in person? The honesty of anonymity enables that, and it can be liberating and powerful. All of us are here because we want to talk and connect with other people, and all of us are here because we fundamentally want to trust other people online. If we didn't, we wouldn't care to engage them, ask questions, and discuss things. Instead, we'd just argue.

      Tildes is built around excising the distrust from social interaction online. Most of us are here because we're tired of the rampant distrust elsewhere. We believe in the power of honesty. Yes, honesty can be exploited, but let's not hold that against it. Let's instead hold it against the people who would take something genuine and corrupt it for their own ends. A charlatan does not reveal the gaps in our social structure so much as they reveal their own distance from it.

      14 votes
      1. [2]
        vord
        Link Parent
        Thank you. The bug fix metaphor resonates soundly. The lack of trust almost certainly stems from other problems such as not believing victims, which has other indirect consequences like resistance...

        Thank you. The bug fix metaphor resonates soundly.

        The lack of trust almost certainly stems from other problems such as not believing victims, which has other indirect consequences like resistance to unisex bathrooms and male victims of spousal abuse having no support systems.

        I think there's a lot of potential harm in making rigid, externally verifiable definitions for identities

        The more I interact, the more I agree. However, there is a phrase I've heard along the lines of 'a hypothesis that does not meaningfully condense information is useless.' The same could be said of language that is so inherently fluid that the terms mean substantially different things to different people, even among those identifying as such. In that sense cis, trans, and non-binary as terms resonate as useful definitions within the 'gender spectrum,' but trying to get more fine grained just fosters confusion. It feels futile, in the same way that defining subsets within the sexuality spectrum more rigidly than 'mostly heterosexual / bisexual / asexual / mostly homosexual' can be.

        7 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Welcome to the bleeding edge of language. Definitions haven't been around for 100+ years, so things are much more fluid. Have you ever considered common vernacular? If you had to put a single...

          The same could be said of language that is so inherently fluid that the terms mean substantially different things to different people, even among those identifying as such.

          Welcome to the bleeding edge of language. Definitions haven't been around for 100+ years, so things are much more fluid.

          Have you ever considered common vernacular? If you had to put a single definition to the word 'yeet', 'da bomb', 'groovy', 'dig it', or 'wicked', you could probably loosely group them together as some sort of "this is good" but if you're familiar with even just one of those terms you'd realize that there are very different contexts in which they are used and something which might be called groovy might not be appropriate to call wicked or any other combination of those words.

          You also have hit on one of my favorite things about linguistic philosophy - truly understanding the idea that language is nothing but a tool to convey meaning. When you view language through these lens, you'll find that definitions are not as clear cut as we often believe them to be and that language is constantly evolving to convey new meaning as society and technology progresses.

          trying to get more fine grained just fosters confusion. It feels futile

          One final note, with respect to the quote above - I believe you are currently experiencing the same thing that anyone does when they venture into any new field, hobby, specialization, or other wealth of knowledge.

          Just like any new student in medical school will be bombarded with the task of learning specific, meaningful words with by which the exact location and type of disease state or condition can be explained such as complicated sounding words such as lateral epicondylitis (lateral being the location of the body, epicondyle referring to the protrusion of bone around the elbow and the suffix itis meaning an inflammation), you are currently experiencing the wealth of information available to describe, in increasing detail, very specific conditions or subsets of information. As an aside, even for extremely well established terminology you can have some fluidity - for example the epicondyle does not just exist at the elbow, but also at the humerus, so lateral epicondylitis (colloquially: tennis elbow) could actually refer to more than one condition.

          10 votes
    3. [16]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I think what @tindall said is a much nicer version of what I likely would have said. I would seriously challenge you to revisit your own wording. If your goal is truly to understand what others...

      I think what @tindall said is a much nicer version of what I likely would have said. I would seriously challenge you to revisit your own wording. If your goal is truly to understand what others think on the issue, I would avoid loaded words like "mutilation", avoid painting broad strokes by making statements like "the first advice is often" (the first advice in my experience is often to go to a therapist), and try not to lump all trans people into the same bucket by presenting what amounts to a strawman (choose to wear a dress, shave, wear makeup, and go by a feminine version of their name).

      As a non-binary individual who experiences very little gender dysphoria, I would also encourage you to broaden your horizons. Literally everything you've talked about is in respect to trans females. What of trans males? What of non-binary individuals? What of agender, poly/pangender, bigender, and other variations of gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals? The very question

      Is it possible to have a dividing line between 'straight person' and 'trans person' that does not descend into either transmedicalism or gender stereotypes?

      Shows a distinct lack of recognition or outright dismissal of people who disagree with the concept of a binary gender but still identify as transgender.

      12 votes
      1. [15]
        vord
        Link Parent
        I suppose this is just a byproduct of the social circles I have encountered. Outside of the workplace, I interact with far more women then men on average. I guess it's also a bias of my own...

        Literally everything you've talked about is in respect to trans females.

        I suppose this is just a byproduct of the social circles I have encountered. Outside of the workplace, I interact with far more women then men on average. I guess it's also a bias of my own experience, as it's far easier to relate to the concept of transitioning to a woman than to attempt to imagine myself as a woman transitioning to a man.

        What of non-binary individuals? What of agender, poly/pangender, bigender, and other variations of gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals?

        I guess it's because non-binary is even more complex than trans. The concept of gender, when stereotypes are removed from the conversation context, feels incomprehensible. I guess it's because the terminology is so incredibly vague.

        Using definitions from this site:

        agender - 1. Some who call themselves agender have no gender identity (genderless). 2. Some who call themselves agender have a gender identity, which isn't female or male, but neutral.

        polygender - Having several gender identities, particularly four or more of them. This can mean at different times, or at the same time.

        pangender - A pangender person is a person who considers themselves as a member of all genders.

        bigender - Bigender individuals have two gender identities, at the same time, or at different times.[4] These two genders might be female and male, or they might be a different pair of genders.

        I don't see much tangible difference between any of these... they could all be broadly summed up as 'My internal monologue and behaviors don't ascribe to stereotypical views of men or women.' Pangender on its own seems a logical impossibility...how can you be all genders if new genders crop up periodically that previously had no definition?

        The most useful thing that would help me begin comprehending this would be having bi/poly gender people provide examples of how their different gender identities thought patterns or behaviors differ or change.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          patience_limited
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Warning: wild theorizing ahead I proposed a multi-axial model of gender here, and I think it might help clarify how you can understand this. Part of the problem in applying language to gender is...

          Warning: wild theorizing ahead

          I proposed a multi-axial model of gender here, and I think it might help clarify how you can understand this.

          Part of the problem in applying language to gender is that we're trying to describe a multi-dimensional phenomenon using a two-dimensional model - gender as a point on a line that only extends from stereotypical male to female extremes. That makes it hard to conceptualize intermediate gender states accurately, especially when they might be variable over time.

          There's a mathematical tool called an elastic map, which lets you graphically represent how results dependent on multi-dimensional variables locate as nodes on a non-linear manifold.

          So if you visualize gender as that bulgy manifold, you can observe and characterize people's experience in terms of a surface with continuous areas and magnitudes of "male", "female", "non-gendered", "transgender", and "polygendered or non-binary", depending on clusters of underlying traits.

          So, if I describe myself as "non-binary", I'm speaking of the experience of variances from "female" in biochemistry, neurodevelopmental traits, and social role, which don't place me fully in the "male" territory, but aren't "non-gendered" or "transgendered", either.

          7 votes
          1. vord
            Link Parent
            You are certainly correct that this is far easier for me to grok. In retrospect this makes sense, as political alignment suffers much the same problem (even the relatively robust political compass...

            You are certainly correct that this is far easier for me to grok.

            In retrospect this makes sense, as political alignment suffers much the same problem (even the relatively robust political compass could benefit with several more axes).

            If your model were a primary method to explaining gender to outsiders (especially if some of the more technical terms can be simplified), I think it would go a long way to facilitating discussions.

            6 votes
        2. [7]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          One thing that I think might be causing some of the confusion/miscommunication here is a lack of a shared definition of gender. You said you don't believe in gender identity, and you talk a lot...

          One thing that I think might be causing some of the confusion/miscommunication here is a lack of a shared definition of gender. You said you don't believe in gender identity, and you talk a lot about gender stereotypes - what does gender mean, to you? The term, I mean?

          6 votes
          1. [6]
            vord
            Link Parent
            To me personally, gender is male and female, biological. The only traits I would classify as masculine and feminine are inheritly biological in nature. These few traits are ones that spawn from...

            To me personally, gender is male and female, biological.

            The only traits I would classify as masculine and feminine are inheritly biological in nature. These few traits are ones that spawn from the context you share with other members of your sex. For example, men lack the necessary context to truely understand the suffering that is menstruation.

            But aside from that very small subset, I wouldn't say any individual personality trait or behavior is inheritly masculine or feminine. People are just people, for better or worse. When people ponder nature vs nurture, I fall firmly into the nurture camp.

            When I say gender stereotypes, I'm thinking in terms of things arbitrarily assigned as ''feminine' or 'masculine' that does not have a direct impact on biological function

            • Toys
            • Clothing
            • Colors
            • Household chores
            • Career paths
            • Behavioral traits

            For example when someone describes 'toxic masculinity' to me, I hear a ton of traits and actions that are not exclusive to men. It's just that these traits have come to be associated with mascuilinity because society has disproportionately allowed men to exhibit them.

            So given that context, I understand why trans folks have the desire to be seen beyond their biology. And I have no reason to disagree with that.

            But I frequently wonder: would trans (or any other non-binary gender) have even entered our collective vocabulary if society didn't continue to perpetuate notions of 'for women' and 'for men.'

            I appreciate all of you having nearly impeccable patience trying to get through my thick skull. I promise I'm doing my damnedest to review everything and be as introspective as I can muster.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              That makes a lot of sense, I think, in the context of this conversation. This is a fundamental disconnection between a lot of people and the trans discourse; the basic assumption a lot of people...

              To me personally, gender is male and female, biological.

              That makes a lot of sense, I think, in the context of this conversation. This is a fundamental disconnection between a lot of people and the trans discourse; the basic assumption a lot of people make nowadays, and the way transness is understood, is that gender (or gender identity, the two terms being interchangeable) and sex are not the same thing. "Cisgender" people have gender and sex that match, while "transgender" (fmr. "transsexual") people have gender that does not match their sex.

              For example when someone describes 'toxic masculinity' to me, I hear a ton of traits and actions that are not exclusive to men. It's just that these traits have come to be associated with mascuilinity because society has disproportionately allowed men to exhibit them.

              This is a pretty accurate analysis, as far as it goes; certainly "toxic masculinity" describes a set of traits that is not exclusive to men. However, it specifically describes it in the context of the way Western society treats, constrains, and enables men. Anger, need for control, and obsession with strength are not toxic masculinity; those traits in pursuit of a societal ideal of masculinity is.

              So, then, we have a separation between sex and gender ,and a second distinction between gender and "gender stereotypes", or more commonly called gender roles (stereotypes also being a thing, but slightly different, at least in a lot of feminist theory), gender roles ranging from "women are natural caretakers"/"men are natural warriors" to subtler forms of distinction that are entirely societal (why do men not wear dresses? I don't know, but society doesn't treat them well when they do.)

              But I frequently wonder: would trans (or any other non-binary gender) have even entered our collective vocabulary if society didn't continue to perpetuate notions of 'for women' and 'for men.'

              I also wonder this, a lot. I mentioned it in one of my comments in this thread, there are two components here:

              1. I experience gender dysphoria without being able to explain its origin, and

              2. There is no experiment we can reasonably perform to determine whether I would still experience gender dysphoria if we lived in a society without gender roles.

              However, it's interesting to think about how all of these categories embody false binaries. While it's true that humans, like many species, exhibit sexual dimorphism, that does not mean that there are only two sexes; as many as one in a hundred people exhibits phenotypical intersex traits (that is, genitals or secondary sexual characteristics that are not "male" or "female") and probably (though we don't know) a higher rate of non-expressing genotypical intersex traits.

              Furthermore, whether or not we would have gender identity separate from sex in a world without gender roles is kind of a moot point; we don't know of any societies with absolutely no gender roles, and we do know of trans people going back about as far as you want to look.

              I appreciate all of you having nearly impeccable patience trying to get through my thick skull. I promise I'm doing my damnedest to review everything and be as introspective as I can muster.

              I appreciate you being willing to listen. The point we've arrived at is extremely far from the comfortable warmth of a number of hegemonic systems with a serious monetary and power interest in perpetuating relatively strict gender separations, a long history of strict gender roles, and a long and no less violent history of people and organizations, including the Nazis, repressing any expression of non-conforming gender identity.

              In my opinion, a rich understanding of gender identity as separate from sex, and of the inherently incomplete nature of the binarist interpretation of sexual variation in humans, can only be an empowering, enriching, and progress-oriented outcome for modern feminism.

              8 votes
              1. [3]
                vord
                Link Parent
                Thank you, this is a fantastic post. Regarding intersex traits, I think it really only boils down to reproductive capability. Being capable of producing more humans is really the only aspect of...

                Thank you, this is a fantastic post.

                Regarding intersex traits, I think it really only boils down to reproductive capability. Being capable of producing more humans is really the only aspect of biological sex of importance from a societal role standpoint. Given that, I would ascribe a sort of binary definition of sex based solely on that. A third could be justified for those incapable, and perhaps a forth for the rarer case of those capable of both creating and enabling creating.

                Furthermore, whether or not we would have gender identity separate from sex in a world without gender roles is kind of a moot point; we don't know of any societies with absolutely no gender roles, and we do know of trans people going back about as far as you want to look.

                People are forming identities around something that is so fluid it becomes borderline impossible to define in a non-subjective manner. Looking back on this thread....I don't think there's much of an inherit disagreement in our vision for moving forward as a society, just that I'm an outsider who doesn't understand the new language or have the knowledge of the 'insider' group. This in turn makes it easy for me to be interpreted as hostile (especially in a text-based medium).

                I think this is where substantial confusion comes from, and how 'fear of the other' becomes an inhibitor to productive discussion.

                Sexual orientation as a spectrum makes sense to me. Very few people could be classified as 100% heterosexual or 100% homosexual.

                Gender as a spectrum makes less sense, as it seems to rely on the assumption that the ideas of traits being assigned as masculine or feminine will persist indefinitely. And I hypothesize that is an underlying cause of the friction with TERFs and other outsiders. I gather that radical feminists reject that assumption, as one of their goals is to abolish it, and fears that 'gender as a spectrum' conflicts with that goal.

                Regarding gender roles vs gender stereotypes, I do tend to use them relatively interchangeably. I think I could make a case that although different, they are deeply intertwined with each other, thus referring to one often results in the other in at least some capacity.

                2 votes
                1. Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  I believe many sociologists would strongly disagree with this take. There are roles in society such as caretaker which are not inherently gendered but predisposed to one gender or another due to...

                  Being capable of producing more humans is really the only aspect of biological sex of importance from a societal role standpoint.

                  I believe many sociologists would strongly disagree with this take. There are roles in society such as caretaker which are not inherently gendered but predisposed to one gender or another due to existing gender constructs.

                  In fact, we can drill deeper into this and recognize that there are manual labor jobs which are predisposed to people who phenotypically present in certain ways which are statistically tied to biological sex. Strong people, tall people, short people, people with small hands, etc - all of these are needed for many different tasks in society.

                  People are forming identities around something that is so fluid it becomes borderline impossible to define in a non-subjective manner.

                  How is this any different than people forming identities around their hobbies, which both change over time and may include terminology which is unfamiliar to outsiders?

                  If you have never gamed a day in your life, what does "I prefer PnP RPGs and RTS PC games" mean to you? If you have never climbed before what does a "powerclimber who prefers to boulder" even mean?

                  I'm an outsider who doesn't understand the new language or have the knowledge of the 'insider' group. This in turn makes it easy for me to be interpreted as hostile (especially in a text-based medium).

                  What I find fascinating is how this often isn't the case when we talk about an outsider approaching a new hobby or specialization. I believe the real problem here is how most people tend to approach new things, in general - with some amount of caution and often hostility.

                  To an extent, this makes sense - change is absolutely scary. When we're talking about changing your view on how different types of basket-weaving might create patterns which have different pros and cons, the outcome is not one that affects your world view and so the change is often easily accepted. However, when we talk about challenging the foundations of everything you previously believed about a construct which you can't even remember learning which affects the entire population of the world and perhaps even some assumptions you've made yourself... well, it's downright terrifying to consider. So you'll come off as more skeptical, you'll approach new ideas with more caution, and realistically you'll probably not change your mind for quite some time. It is entirely understandable and in fact quite relatable as many of us have gone through the exact same questioning just over a much longer period of our lives and at different points in our development (some confronted this reality quite young, others not until they were already adults).

                  However, you can absolutely be aware of all of this and make an effort to revisit the wording of your own questions before posing them. Look at what you've written down and put yourself in the shoes of an outsider. In what ways could your words be potentially offensive and what views would you have to have for them to be offensive? How can you reword your question so that there are no assumptions baked in? Imagine this is a deeply technical question in a field of which you have no knowledge - what questions do you need to ask first before you can ask the question that's really caught your attention or is bugging you?

                  7 votes
                2. tindall
                  Link Parent
                  I agree that this is the point of friction, but I certainly don't believe this is true - rather, I think some feminists think it's what we think, if you see what I mean. If gender identity can...

                  Gender as a spectrum makes less sense, as it seems to rely on the assumption that the ideas of traits being assigned as masculine or feminine will persist indefinitely.

                  I agree that this is the point of friction, but I certainly don't believe this is true - rather, I think some feminists think it's what we think, if you see what I mean.

                  If gender identity can change, and gender is a social construction, then presumably people's idea of their own gender identity would change as society slowly dismantles gender roles, right? That's certainly been the case so far, in my experience with older trans people.

                  I don't think there's much of an inherit disagreement in our vision for moving forward as a society, just that I'm an outsider who doesn't understand the new language or have the knowledge of the 'insider' group.

                  Yes, and unfortunately the agenda and language around this has been set by TERFs and conservative pundits, especially recently :(

                  Regarding gender roles vs gender stereotypes, I do tend to use them relatively interchangeably. I think I could make a case that although different, they are deeply intertwined with each other, thus referring to one often results in the other in at least some capacity.

                  This is something I'm not really qualified to explain, but there's great work on it from a lot of feminist and anthropological scholars. A I understand it, gender stereotypes are much broader and more homogenous than gender roles; gender roles depend on a specific context and social stratum. The stereotype that women can't drive is present throughout society via media, etc; the role women take on in e.g. Orthodox Jewish communities is very specific and different from the role women take on in, say, a liberal arts campus.

                  In any case, I'm glad I was able to be helpful, and please let me know if you have other questions!

                  6 votes
            2. reifyresonance
              Link Parent
              Julia Serano, in her book "Whipping Girl", defines gender identity as "subconscious sex", which I think is a pretty decent working definition. People with a different "subconscious sex" would...

              But I frequently wonder: would trans (or any other non-binary gender) have even entered our collective vocabulary if society didn't continue to perpetuate notions of 'for women' and 'for men.'

              Julia Serano, in her book "Whipping Girl", defines gender identity as "subconscious sex", which I think is a pretty decent working definition. People with a different "subconscious sex" would still feel out of place in their body, even if they were socially able to express themselves however they wanted.

              5 votes
        3. [5]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Why? What is gender to you? Just because that's how you sum them up, doesn't mean that's a very measured opinion. The fact that you weren't even familiar with these other terms means you likely...

          The concept of gender, when stereotypes are removed from the conversation context, feels incomprehensible.

          Why? What is gender to you?

          they could all be broadly summed up as 'My internal monologue and behaviors don't ascribe to stereotypical views of men or women.'

          Just because that's how you sum them up, doesn't mean that's a very measured opinion. The fact that you weren't even familiar with these other terms means you likely haven't been exposed to very deep philosophical questions of gender, gender expression, and human behavior. If you'd like to learn more, I'd encourage you to do some research before making broad claims. Chances are, someone else has already explored the subject and can help you understand where said argument falls flat or stands strong.

          The most useful thing that would help me begin comprehending this would be having bi/poly gender people provide examples of how their different gender identities thought patterns or behaviors differ or change.

          Fantastic news, the internet is an absolute wealth of this kind of information!

          I used to consider myself 'two spirit' which is a specific subset of bigender. This really stemmed from my own failure to critically evaluate what gender is as well as the contributing factors that made me express more traditionally 'male' or 'female'. The best way I can describe my own gender expression during this period of my life was akin to someone who bottles up their anger. At some point, that anger explodes. This was me, but with gender expression. The side that I suppressed would explode out after being suppressed for too long. When I realized this was the issue, and allowed myself to be more fluid with my expression, I settled on something that is much closer to something in-between the two social dipoles of 'male' and 'female'.

          4 votes
          1. [4]
            vord
            Link Parent
            Could you provide some links for these things? I guess part of the problem is I definitely see I'm in a bit of a bubble about this. One of the things that makes me good at my career is that I have...

            Could you provide some links for these things?

            I guess part of the problem is I definitely see I'm in a bit of a bubble about this.

            One of the things that makes me good at my career is that I have the context and knowledge to filter good info from noise in matters regarding technology.

            I apparently do not have that same level of context on this subject to be able to filter good sources from bad.

            6 votes
            1. Death
              Link Parent
              I'm really impressed with how receptive you have been with this, it's commendable. I hope people were able to put some fears to rest and point you to some good sources if you still have concerns...

              I'm really impressed with how receptive you have been with this, it's commendable. I hope people were able to put some fears to rest and point you to some good sources if you still have concerns or doubts.

              8 votes
            2. tindall
              Link Parent
              The Nonbinary Wiki is a great place to start! As with most 'pedia style wikis, I suggest reading the article for summary and the references for details.

              The Nonbinary Wiki is a great place to start! As with most 'pedia style wikis, I suggest reading the article for summary and the references for details.

              7 votes
    4. soctar
      Link Parent
      Other folks put it much better than I would (@tindall, @Gaywallet), I'd just say that I usually sum this up with the maxim "Everyone's experience is different and so so valid" (or, just...

      Other folks put it much better than I would (@tindall, @Gaywallet), I'd just say that I usually sum this up with the maxim "Everyone's experience is different and so so valid" (or, just postmodernism -- no theory will unify everyone). We learn best when we come to different people and new experiences with recognition for our own ignorance, humility, and a genuine want to understand, rather than a want to use (and abuse) relationships of power, as I feel like you're describing in some sections here.

      8 votes
  8. [24]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I have seen LGBT people on both sides of the fence for the next question, so I'll pose it here as well. How long/inclusive should the LGBT initialism be in your opinion? e.g. LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQ+,...

    I have seen LGBT people on both sides of the fence for the next question, so I'll pose it here as well.

    How long/inclusive should the LGBT initialism be in your opinion?

    e.g. LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, LGBTQIA, LGBTQQIP2SAA, etc.

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is a great question, and one that there isn't a single solid answer on. My personal preference is not an acronym at all but the word "queer". I like it because it's inclusive by nature, and...

      This is a great question, and one that there isn't a single solid answer on.

      My personal preference is not an acronym at all but the word "queer". I like it because it's inclusive by nature, and it's effectively future-proof. It scales well to new identities should they arise, allows old or outdated ones to drop away gracefully, and it doesn't privilege any one identity over another. "Rainbow" has been suggested as a similar term as a way of avoiding the negative baggage of the term "queer" as a slur, though I don't feel it's exactly a drop-in replacement. I can say "I identify as queer" comfortably while "I identify as rainbow" doesn't hit my ear right at all (though that could be just because I'm not used to using it that way).

      The acronym has the benefit of not being a slur and being widely recognizable, but you run into the problem you enumerated in your comment, where we have to make a definitive break point lest it become too unweildy. If I had to choose one, it would be LGBTQ, which takes the recognizable "LGBT" piece and adds Q as a catch-all, making it definitively and unambiguously inclusive (which is what matters most to me). Given that "Q" there is widely understood to be "queer" which means "every other gender, romantic, and sexual minority identity", however, it makes me wonder why we wouldn't just use that in the first place rather than appending it to "LGBT", which is one of the things that brings me back to my preference for "queer" in the first place.

      13 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I'm a little amused at the prospect that "queer" will become so inclusive that "cisgender, straight" may no longer be a majority default. [I'm not even touching on "vanilla"...] Unfortunately,...

        I'm a little amused at the prospect that "queer" will become so inclusive that "cisgender, straight" may no longer be a majority default. [I'm not even touching on "vanilla"...]

        Unfortunately, this raises backlash and culture war concerns, in exactly the way that neo-Nazis are responding to the proposition that "white, Christian, male" is no longer the default for power in the Western hemisphere.

        5 votes
      2. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        "Rainbow" would be used to replace "queer" in "the queer community": "we are the rainbow community"; "this is a rainbow family" (another usage I've heard and like). We're talking about the...

        "Rainbow" has been suggested as a similar term as a way of avoiding the negative baggage of the term "queer" as a slur, though I don't feel it's exactly a drop-in replacement. I can say "I identify as queer" comfortably while "I identify as rainbow"

        "Rainbow" would be used to replace "queer" in "the queer community": "we are the rainbow community"; "this is a rainbow family" (another usage I've heard and like).

        We're talking about the umbrella term "LGBT", not personal descriptors. I think "rainbow" works as an umbrella term.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Oh, I definitely like it too. I'm just noting that it would take some adjustment. One of the reasons that I like "queer" as an umbrella term is that it's also an identity, which "rainbow" isn't,...

          Oh, I definitely like it too. I'm just noting that it would take some adjustment. One of the reasons that I like "queer" as an umbrella term is that it's also an identity, which "rainbow" isn't, but I think rainbow also has other benefits as well and is one that is likely to catch on with time.

          4 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Which is one of the reasons I don't like it. "Queer" and "rainbow" are umbrella terms for groups of groups, which don't make sense when applied to individuals (in my mind).

            One of the reasons that I like "queer" as an umbrella term is that it's also an identity

            Which is one of the reasons I don't like it. "Queer" and "rainbow" are umbrella terms for groups of groups, which don't make sense when applied to individuals (in my mind).

            3 votes
    2. [5]
      reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      This feels a lot like bikeshedding to me. That said, short and inclusive don't have to be opposed - I like GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities). Otherwise, shorter is better, but nobody...

      This feels a lot like bikeshedding to me. That said, short and inclusive don't have to be opposed - I like GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities).

      Otherwise, shorter is better, but nobody likes being in the plus, so I think LGBTQ+ is an acceptable compromise.

      I feel different ways when I see the different initialisms. LGBT feels old but solid. LGBTQ feels a little more modern, with the plus feels like there's a bit extra effort to be inclusive. LGBTQQIAAP+ reaches the point where it feels like you should really revisit your approach, identifying the common characteristics instead of enumerating every value with them.

      Being recognizable is important, as a reason to prefer LGBT-prefixed initialisms.

      11 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        As someone who isn't particularly knowledgeable to the LGBT(Q(IA(+)))/GSRM community I find the latter much better because it's more friendly to those who don't already know the individual labels...

        I like GSRM (Gender, Sexual, and Romantic Minorities).

        As someone who isn't particularly knowledgeable to the LGBT(Q(IA(+)))/GSRM community I find the latter much better because it's more friendly to those who don't already know the individual labels beforehand. (AFAIK Lesbian is for homosexual/romantic women, Gay is for homosexual/romantic man, Bisexual, is for people who are attracted to 2 sexes, and Queer Is a slur turned into a umbrella term that probably can fit 2 more 4-letter acronyms of sexualities (?) in it that I at this point don't know.) It's pretty clear I don't know a lot and that's only the first 4 letters, imagine explaining this to someone who isn't used to the existence of such minorities?

        3 votes
      2. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        "bikeshedding"?

        This feels a lot like bikeshedding to me.

        "bikeshedding"?

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          reifyresonance
          Link Parent
          It's a term I've seen used in programming circles: http://catb.org/jargon/html/B/bikeshedding.html For example, using 2 vs 4 spaces for indenting code.

          It's a term I've seen used in programming circles:

          Technical disputes over minor, marginal issues conducted while more serious ones are being overlooked. The implied image is of people arguing over what color to paint the bicycle shed while the house is not finished.

          http://catb.org/jargon/html/B/bikeshedding.html

          For example, using 2 vs 4 spaces for indenting code.

          9 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Thanks for the explanation. Now that I understand, it seems like calling Augustus' question "bikeshedding" is dismissing their question as trivial and unimportant. I assume that wasn't your intention?

            Thanks for the explanation.

            Now that I understand, it seems like calling Augustus' question "bikeshedding" is dismissing their question as trivial and unimportant. I assume that wasn't your intention?

            1 vote
    3. emdash
      Link Parent
      LGBT is as far as I go. That's not an attempt to marginalise anyone who considers themselves not included in the initialism, and because that's not my intent, I don't feel bad for kind of saying...

      LGBT is as far as I go. That's not an attempt to marginalise anyone who considers themselves not included in the initialism, and because that's not my intent, I don't feel bad for kind of saying that it shouldn't go any further?

      Frankly, I hate the fact we settled on an enumeration of facets of our differences to represent a combined community. I would've preferred a word to an initialism. But, that's how language sometimes goes, I guess.

      11 votes
    4. Silbern
      Link Parent
      I've fond of LGBT. It's been around for a while, it's short, easy to write and say, and it works fine as an abbreviation for the longer terms too. I say this from the perspective of a pretty plain...

      I've fond of LGBT. It's been around for a while, it's short, easy to write and say, and it works fine as an abbreviation for the longer terms too. I say this from the perspective of a pretty plain cisgender gay dude, but I don't feel like the lack of a letter is designed to exclude anyone, and I don't think it's healthy to try to separate everyone into a really long list of identities. We should be focused on what brings us together instead of what sets us apart, and since LGBT has already become a label of sorts for anyone who's not a straight cisgender individual, I feel like it does the job great.

      5 votes
    5. Cleb
      Link Parent
      Personally, my own ideal for the initialism is to do away with it and introduce another word entirely. I love "queer" but there are many people who are uncomfortable with that label so there's no...

      Personally, my own ideal for the initialism is to do away with it and introduce another word entirely. I love "queer" but there are many people who are uncomfortable with that label so there's no way that it'd feasibly become the most universal term. kfwyre's response about the term "rainbow" is a very good one as well, though I don't think "rainbow" would be my first personal pick, and I have to do some long thinking to come up with my own alternative. Don't get me wrong, I love the rainbow flag and all, but like they said in their post, I don't really feel that same hit of satisfaction from saying "I'm rainbow" vs "I'm queer".

      If we have to stick with an initialism, by far my preferences are for one of the following: LGBTIQ+, LGBTQ+, or LGBT+. It personally feels very important to me to incorporate the + into the initialism because while it can be taken as a sort of "othering" of identities that don't have a lettered spot, I also believe it's important to be recognizable and not overly long. There is a degree of lovely feeling to how upfront the LGBTQQIAAP+ length ones are, but they're also a mouthful and I know very few people who ever go through and type out or enunciate the entire thing. Most often I get "LGBTQ", "LGBT", "queer", or "LGBTQ+" in real conversation. I also would strongly prefer one of the first two I mentioned in this paragraph, but I would settle for LGBT+ if it was something that satisfied most of the other members of the community.

      5 votes
    6. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      The longer it is, the worse it is. Not because I want to exclude people, but because a label needs to be practical. Something like "LGBTQQIP2SAA" isn't practical (I didn't even type that, I just...

      The longer it is, the worse it is. Not because I want to exclude people, but because a label needs to be practical. Something like "LGBTQQIP2SAA" isn't practical (I didn't even type that, I just copy-pasted it from your comment).

      Shorter is better.

      In theory, I should like "GSM" (gender and sexual minorities) because it's short, explanatory, and all-inclusive. The problem is that it's not commonly used, and won't be recognised by lots of people. "LGBT" is familiar to lots of people - inside and outside the tent. If I feel the need to be inclusive, I write "LGBT+".

      If I had my druthers, I'd move away from an initialism to a word. When we voted on what to call the ~lgbt group here on Tildes, I voted for "~rainbow" (like /r/ainbow on Reddit). I've heard us described as "the rainbow community", and I like it. We each have our own separate colour (identity), but we come together in a vibrant combination.

      (But not "queer". Never "queer".)

      4 votes
      1. emdash
        Link Parent
        Rainbow is basically my preference too, but I voted LGBT here mainly for continuity. Do I regret my vote in hindsight? Yeah maybe. Rainbow is the best marketing term by a long way; and as you say,...

        Rainbow is basically my preference too, but I voted LGBT here mainly for continuity. Do I regret my vote in hindsight? Yeah maybe.

        Rainbow is the best marketing term by a long way; and as you say, all the sub-minorities have flags, the one uniting factor is they're all color variations.

        5 votes
      2. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        GSM also has the whole being known mostly as a mobile communications standard thing... I'm also a fan of ~rainbow and remember helping /r/ainbow getting kicked off as /r/lgbt was becoming (and...

        GSM also has the whole being known mostly as a mobile communications standard thing...

        I'm also a fan of ~rainbow and remember helping /r/ainbow getting kicked off as /r/lgbt was becoming (and still is? I'm not subscribed) a hostile powermad mod hole.

        3 votes
    7. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      I personally prefer LGBT, with other possible acronyms implicit. It seems like anything else in unnecessarily long or unrecognizable.

      I personally prefer LGBT, with other possible acronyms implicit. It seems like anything else in unnecessarily long or unrecognizable.

      4 votes
    8. [6]
      meme
      Link Parent
      (not a panelist) I'm of the opinion the label only applies to people who are affected by homophobia or transphobia. The community is a response to and a shelter from those things. It is not just a...

      (not a panelist)

      I'm of the opinion the label only applies to people who are affected by homophobia or transphobia. The community is a response to and a shelter from those things. It is not just a group for anyone whose sexuality is outside the norm. I'm what would be called an "exclusionist" as opposed to an inclusionist. So cishet aces aren't LGBT, intersex people aren't automatically LGBT, I think you get the idea. I personally use "LGBTQ+" because it covers other labels like Pansexual without having to enumerate each one of them. However I also find myself using "LGBT" a lot too because it's the classic.

      This truly is a controversial issue within the community and I wish we could talk about it more with empathy and grace.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Out of curiousity, do you know many aces? Have you ever asked them about the kinds of exclusionary behavior they regularly face? If so, why do you consider bigotry towards them fundamentally...

        I'm of the opinion the label only applies to people who are affected by homophobia or transphobia. The community is a response to and a shelter from those things.

        aces aren't LGBT

        Out of curiousity, do you know many aces? Have you ever asked them about the kinds of exclusionary behavior they regularly face? If so, why do you consider bigotry towards them fundamentally different than bigotry on the bases of gender or sexual orientation (as a side note, how is being marginalized for being sexually attracted to one gender any different than being marginalized for being sexually attracted to no genders)?

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          meme
          Link Parent
          Yes Some say they don't experience exclusionary behavior. For those that think they are discriminated against, all examples essentially boil down to things that have very little effect on how they...

          Out of curiousity, do you know many aces?

          Yes

          Have you ever asked them about the kinds of exclusionary behavior they regularly face?

          Some say they don't experience exclusionary behavior. For those that think they are discriminated against, all examples essentially boil down to things that have very little effect on how they live their lives compared to an allo person

          For reference, I identified as an asexual aromantic for a couple years. The most discrimination I got was people thinking I was weird. This was circa 2010 when the ace community wasn't really a thing nor was ace discourse a thing. It is a complete world of a difference from the discrimination I face as a lesbian.

          I don't have a problem with ace discourse or the ace community in of themselves, I in fact think they're great for people on the ace spectrum. However what historically binds the LGBT community is homophobia and transphobia - nothing more and nothing less. I have absolutely nothing in common with the experiences of a heteroromantic asexual unless you play a game of semantics. (Such as you did in your last sentence). A hetero ace woman is not sexually attracted to men, and neither am I. This is a superficial connection. The discrimination and othering I experience for not being attracted to men feels so different compared to how people treated me when I said I was asexual. Before it was 3 reactions, "that's weird", or "it'll change", or "okay". Now it's a huge range of reactions, but some negative ones I get that are new are "this is because you are too ugly to succeed with men", "you're clearly bitter against the male species", "you just need a good dicking", "you just need to open your mind more. the human nature is to be bisexual", etc. Could many of these same things be leveled at a cishet ace woman? Sure. Did these negative stereotypes get applied to me while I was navigating the world as a cishet ace? Absolutely not. This is just anecdotal but I hope it helps you understand me better.

          To be clear, aces DO experience discrimination, and it sucks and it shouldn't happen. I'm glad we're starting to think more about it and talk more about it. There's definitely overlap with ace communities and LGBT ones because many, many aces are trans, non binary, lesbian, gay, bi etc. But for cishet aces who don't experience homophobia or transphobia, they really don't fit into what has historically been the LGBT community. Just as cishet poly people, cishet people who practice BDSM, furries, and other "alternative sexualities" are not inherently LGBT.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            Ahh, I see now. I thought you were being exclusionary rather than inclusionary because you felt the kind of bigotry that aces got was fundamentally different than the kind of bigotry lesbians...

            Ahh, I see now. I thought you were being exclusionary rather than inclusionary because you felt the kind of bigotry that aces got was fundamentally different than the kind of bigotry lesbians receive or trans people. Which, to an extent, is true... but in my mind it felt like splitting hairs over the bigger issue, the fact that bigotry was happening at all.

            It sounds like it's more that you want it to be inclusionary for the people who do experience bigotry. Is that correct?

            4 votes
            1. meme
              Link Parent
              Yes, and I can say for the lesbian/wlw community specifically that there's some way to go for intersectionality with aces, but I think good strides are being made and good conversations are...

              Yes, and I can say for the lesbian/wlw community specifically that there's some way to go for intersectionality with aces, but I think good strides are being made and good conversations are happening. Social media has made the ace lesbian community much more visible and they're a small but vocal part of the online communities I'm a part. (IRL to some extent too, but so much of the wlw community happens online).

              This is where you get the perhaps surprising phenonom of exclu wlw spaces that are welcoming to asexual lesbians. (and asexual bi women, ace spec NB people, etc).

              4 votes
          2. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I 100% agree with this, and with everything else you've said here.

            However what historically binds the LGBT community is homophobia and transphobia - nothing more and nothing less.

            I 100% agree with this, and with everything else you've said here.

  9. [6]
    tindall
    Link
    Something I'd like to ask my fellow panelists: what are your favourite queer books? Academic books, historical books, fiction, anything! My personal favourite - or at least my most impactful read...

    Something I'd like to ask my fellow panelists: what are your favourite queer books? Academic books, historical books, fiction, anything!

    My personal favourite - or at least my most impactful read in a long time - is David France's How To Survive a Plague. It's critical, in my view, for anyone who wishes to understand modern queer history to understand the AIDS epidemic and the Reagan genocide.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      I'm going to list a few of the ones that basically got me through the worst of figuring out myself, with no particular life event order or arrangement by genre. There are many, many others, but...

      I'm going to list a few of the ones that basically got me through the worst of figuring out myself, with no particular life event order or arrangement by genre. There are many, many others, but those are more likely to feature in the popular LGBTQ+ reading lists.

      1. Stone Butch Blues, 1993 novel, Leslie Feinberg

      2. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, 1995 commentary/memoir, Kate Bornstein

      3. I'm really hesitant to mention Marion Zimmer Bradley, who wrote a number of science and general fiction novels, particularly the Renunciates books, had a significant impact on what I thought about the prospect of being queer while growing up. Several gay men I knew in SF fandom were all about The Catch Trap, which follows the format of classic romance novels. I'd recommend these as YA material now.

      There are some horrific child abuse allegations attached to Bradley post-mortem.

      1. Ursula K. LeGuin's 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness, which won all the awards and is really the earliest modern novel that devolves around queer gender. [I suspect /u/Algernon_Asimov will have something to say about this.]

      2. Allison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For. I read these comics feeling like I knew (and am) many of these people. Also, Fun Home, her 2006 memoir. For all my family's complex faults, I felt like I won the parent lottery after reading that.

      3. The Motion of Light in Water, Samuel R. Delany's 1988 autobiography. For a while after reading it, l literally didn't care if I read anyone else's writing about being gay, I felt like I'd lived a lifetime of it through his story. There's plenty more genderqueerness in his other stories; Aye, and Gomorrah [PDF warning] is a sample.

      5 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Dykes to Watch Out For is so very good. Alison Bechdel was way ahead of her time. I bought the omnibus and read it a few years ago, and I was amazed at how many concepts that she brought up...

        Dykes to Watch Out For is so very good. Alison Bechdel was way ahead of her time. I bought the omnibus and read it a few years ago, and I was amazed at how many concepts that she brought up decades ago are still relevant and debated today. Plus, her characters feel rich and lived.

        4 votes
      2. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I've never actually read this book. I've read her 'Earthsea' books and 'The Dispossessed' (but it was so long ago that I don't remember anything about it), but not 'The Left Hand of Darkness'.

        Ursula K. LeGuin's 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness, which won all the awards and is really the earliest modern novel that devolves around queer gender. [I suspect /u/Algernon_Asimov will have something to say about this.]

        I've never actually read this book. I've read her 'Earthsea' books and 'The Dispossessed' (but it was so long ago that I don't remember anything about it), but not 'The Left Hand of Darkness'.

        3 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      God I really wish I had an answer for this, but frankly I've never been formally educated in queer philosophy and it's something I've only really started to dive into recently - the vast majority...

      God I really wish I had an answer for this, but frankly I've never been formally educated in queer philosophy and it's something I've only really started to dive into recently - the vast majority of what I've consumed has been through the internet, youtube, etc. Perhaps in a few months I'll have a better answer as I want to pick up a few of these books and really dive in to be better informed.

      4 votes
    3. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Nonfiction The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein This is a rich, intimate profile of an Australian trans woman who runs a cleanup service that handles extreme cases (e.g. suicides, hoarders,...

      Nonfiction

      • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

      This is a rich, intimate profile of an Australian trans woman who runs a cleanup service that handles extreme cases (e.g. suicides, hoarders, etc.). It's deeply compelling and affecting.

      • Pretty much anything by David Sedaris

      Insightful wit, sardonic barbs, and a sort of warm misanthropy that's often low-key hilarious.

      • Love Wins by Debbie Cenziper & Jim Obergefell

      Chronicles the landmark United States Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

      • Whipping Girl by Julia Serano

      An absolute sledgehammer of a book that tackles transmisogyny in an uncompromising and powerful way.

      • And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts

      I haven't read How to Survive a Plague yet, but I imagine this is a good companion piece. This is a comprehensive look at the beginning of the AIDS crisis from an on-the-ground perspective. Very thorough, and very well-written. The author later died of AIDS after publishing this, giving his work posthumous importance and resonance.

      • Borrowed Time by Paul Monette

      A heartwrenching chronicle of the author losing his partner to AIDS. Devastating.

      • Prayers for Bobby by Leroy Aarons

      A mother processes the suicide of her gay son. Also devastating.

      Comics

      • My Brother's Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

      This is a cute slice-of-life manga about a Canadian man visiting his late husband's brother in Japan. The brother is uncomfortable with his brother being gay and still mourning his loss. He's also a single father, raising his young daughter on his own. The book follows the story of the three of them together in Japan and balances being entertaining and serious. Fair warning: do not search up the author unless you're wanting some seriously NSFW content. This series was his first foray into non-erotic content.

      • What's Normal Anyway? by Morgan Boecher

      It's been a while since I've read this one so I can't remember exactly what I loved about it, but it was an insightful comic memoir series about being a trans male.

      • The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel

      She's gotten a lot of (well-deserved) acclaim for Fun Home but in my mind, this is her magnum opus.

      • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ & Amal by E.K. Weaver

      Comic narrative of a gay road-trip romance. Nothing landmark, but it's well-drawn and told.

      • Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

      I genuinely believe this would be in the esteemed graphic novel canon alongside titles like Maus and Persepolis if it had a better title and cover (I strongly dislike both). Covers an ensembles cast during the United States Civil Rights Movement, including several LGBT characters.

      3 votes
  10. [24]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    How did you know you were different? was the understanding always there? did you figure it out gradually throughout your life? was it a momentary realization? How did you feel in relation to your...
    1. How did you know you were different? was the understanding always there? did you figure it out gradually throughout your life? was it a momentary realization?

    2. How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

    3. How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities that you feel is different from cis-/hetero folks don't experience?

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      Algernon_Asimov
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I had an unusual journey. Most other gay men I've spoken to in real life or online started with gay thoughts and then moved on to gay actions. I went the other way: I started being gay before I...

      How did you know you were different? was the understanding always there? did you figure it out gradually throughout your life? was it a momentary realization?

      I had an unusual journey. Most other gay men I've spoken to in real life or online started with gay thoughts and then moved on to gay actions. I went the other way: I started being gay before I understood "gay". I was chasing after boys when I was 8 years old. I started having sex with men as soon as puberty hit. (I was precocious!) This was just natural to me. I never questioned it, I never thought about it, I just did it.

      It was later, when I was about 15 or 16, that I made a connection between "gay" and my own behaviour. So my self-realisation was quite simple: I now had a word to describe what I was doing. And I just kept on doing it.

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

      Back then, I felt terrified of my non-LGBT peers. I was bullied horrifically for the whole of high school. Not only did I feel different, but they took every opportunity to remind me that I was different. I never had time to think about how my sexuality made me different. I was more focussed on getting through each day without being harassed, teased, attacked, or assaulted.

      How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities that you feel is different from cis-/hetero folks don't experience?

      Being gay has given me a different perspective on life. I know what it's like to be an outsider. I know I don't have to follow the rules of society. I feel freer to do what I want, and I more empathy with other people who are outsiders.

      However, in practical terms, my life as a middle-aged bachelor probably isn't much different to a single middle-aged straight man. I go to the office, I work at home, I read books, I watch TV, I hang out on the internet. If you don't look very closely, you can't see that I'm gay at all.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Why do you consider yourself more boring now than you did in your younger days?

        Why do you consider yourself more boring now than you did in your younger days?

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [2]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            What's changed?

            What's changed?

            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                For what it's worth, your mind's pretty damn sharp for how boring you consider your life being. I guess that part doesn't dull easily for you.

                For what it's worth, your mind's pretty damn sharp for how boring you consider your life being. I guess that part doesn't dull easily for you.

                2 votes
    2. tindall
      Link Parent
      How did you know you were different? This is an interesting one for me, because I definitely knew I wasn't a man since I was quite young - maybe 8 or 10 - but my various fumbling forays into...

      How did you know you were different?

      This is an interesting one for me, because I definitely knew I wasn't a man since I was quite young - maybe 8 or 10 - but my various fumbling forays into womanhood and transness were, I think unconsciously, blocked by my parents at every turn. As a family, we knew some trans women, but none closely; my parents always talked about them as "men who became women" and discussed them in kind of hushed tones, and constantly deadnamed them (that is, referred to them by their old names).

      Once I got access to the Internet for more than a few hours a month, around 13, I began to call myself agender, because I was so deep in denial about being a woman. That's not to say agender people aren't real, or that other nonbinary people are in denial like I was; the Tumblr nonbinary community was incredibly good to me, and helped me figure out a lot of things about myself, and I'm grateful for that.

      So, yeah, it took a long, long time for me to finally understand that I was a woman, and then a few more years that I couldn't really be happy until I took steps to make sure other people saw me that way.

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers?

      I definitely feel like I have a deeper understanding of gender than most of my cisgender peers, but certainly not all. There are a number of friends I have who spent some time seriously exploring their feelings around gender and arrived at the conclusion that they're cisgender, and I think that's an experience that makes people a lot more secure in themselves and a lot more open to understanding others. (I also think it's a queer experience and that cis people with a nuanced understanding of their own experience of gender should count as queer but that's a different conversation.)

      How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities?

      To pick out just one example, part of my transition involves taking a testosterone blocker - block the T, put in E, bada bing bada boom you're a girl - but the only testosterone blocker approved in the US is spironolactone, which is designed to lower blood pressure and has the lovely side effect of making the patient pee a lot.

      Combined with the fact that it wasn't really safe for me to use public restrooms for a year or so at the beginning of my transition, this meant that I basically couldn't go anywhere in public for more than about three hours, which was... not amazing. It's a lot worse for a lot of people who either get the spiro side effects worse than I did, or who don't pass as cisgender as easily as I do.

      10 votes
    3. emdash
      Link Parent
      Going back 10 years here, but high school was pretty terrible for me precisely because there was an overwhelming number of just generic straight people in my year group. In fact, it felt like at...

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

      Going back 10 years here, but high school was pretty terrible for me precisely because there was an overwhelming number of just generic straight people in my year group. In fact, it felt like at times I was the only LGBT person. Of course, no one at the time knew I was gay, but it was an incredibly heteronormative environment, and had your typical homophobic teenage trash talk shit.

      This kind of culminated in a pretty bad time for me in my final year, I had no idea how to express my emotions and I'd never shared them with anyone.

      Ultimately this kind of formed my opinion that it's never, ever okay to use terms like "that's gay" in a derogatory way. Like, if you aren't LGBT, and you're saying stuff like that, shut the fuck up, okay? It's not funny or humorous or something lighthearted.

      10 votes
    4. [3]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      Very gradual. I knew as young as around 8 or 9 that I liked other boys in a way I didn't girls, but it didn't really crystalize until I started puberty, around 11 or 12. For a while I kept it to...

      How did you know you were different? was the understanding always there? did you figure it out gradually throughout your life? was it a momentary realization?

      Very gradual. I knew as young as around 8 or 9 that I liked other boys in a way I didn't girls, but it didn't really crystalize until I started puberty, around 11 or 12. For a while I kept it to myself because I just thought it was embarressing, but that was around the age I started hearing gay jokes, and that kind of scared me into not talking about it with anyone. The older I get, the better of an understanding I gain, but until/if I ever get a partner, I think my understanding of my sexuality probably isn't going to progress too much more.

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

      No, not really. I live in a pretty progressive place and very little of my life is different than if I were straight. My Asperger's Syndrome is honestly far greater of an effect in making me feel different, though not at all in a positive way.

      How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities that you feel is different from cis-/hetero folks don't experience?

      Hardly at all. I know how to groom myself nicer than most straight guys I feel, though I don't usually do it, but other than that I really don't have any different daily activities. If I ever get a boyfriend, then there's that.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        What advice would you give to a guy in terms of grooming, regardless of their sexual orientation?

        I know how to groom myself nicer than most straight guys I feel

        What advice would you give to a guy in terms of grooming, regardless of their sexual orientation?

        5 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Some minor plucking of the eyebrows can go a long way Shower daily, wash your face daily Shave, trim, or shape your beard daily Spend at least 20 seconds each morning checking yourself in the...
          1. Some minor plucking of the eyebrows can go a long way
          2. Shower daily, wash your face daily
          3. Shave, trim, or shape your beard daily
          4. Spend at least 20 seconds each morning checking yourself in the mirror before you go out. You'd be surprised how often you might catch little things that are easily fixable.
          5. Spend a little time researching a good hair style for yourself and spend the time to keep it maintained.

          Unrelated to grooming, but will reflect on your personal appearance

          1. Learn basic color theory and how to match colors to your body (things that match the color of your hair, lips, or eyes are good things to have in your wardrobe).
          2. Don't cheap out on clothes. You don't need designer stuff, but a $70 dress shirt will last longer and look nicer than a $30 one. Obviously this is somewhat dependent upon budget but less nice clothes is better than more not as nice clothes.
          3. Accessorize! Watch, earrings, necklace, bracelet, rings - surely you can find something to add just a little flair that matches your style.
          4. If you don't know fashion, there are a lot of services nowadays in which you can get a personal shopper for a relatively cheap price - those clothes in a box delivery/subscription services.
          8 votes
    5. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      1: I started thinking about one of my friends sexually, but I just assumed it was because he's pretty feminine rather than me being not straight. About a year ago, I started liking other,...

      1: I started thinking about one of my friends sexually, but I just assumed it was because he's pretty feminine rather than me being not straight. About a year ago, I started liking other, less-feminine guys, and that's when I fully accepted being bi.

      6 votes
    6. [3]
      Cleb
      Link Parent
      I connected with my non-queer friends and all, but I never had anyone I could really talk to about things about sexuality or gender or mental health or stuff like that. None of those friendships...

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

      I connected with my non-queer friends and all, but I never had anyone I could really talk to about things about sexuality or gender or mental health or stuff like that. None of those friendships were ever anything beyond surface level and I don't talk to anyone from high school anymore. There were a few people who were out about being trans or gay in high school, but they were often on the receiving end of notable amounts of harassment. That scared me deeply, added onto the fact that I knew my parents and other family wouldn't even begin to try and understand being anything other than cishet. So I was one of the cowards who stayed in the closet and unconsciously built a wall around myself.

      How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities that you feel is different from cis-/hetero folks don't experience?

      I don't talk to people in real life much, and the express reason for that is that I don't really want to build up any relationships of friendship with people when the odds are massively stacked in favor that they'll drop me, or potentially be malicious and out me to people I'd rather not have know about my identity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a rude person. I can make casual conversation and I'm not a total bumbling idiot when I open my mouth, but people often describe me as "quiet" or "shy", which I'm indifferent to hearing. I just don't really see much of a reason to try and connect with people here when the majority of them are likely to slot me into the "freak" category in their head and stop talking to me. I don't think cishets really have to be afraid of that, at least from an identity perspective. In the future where I'm no longer in deeply conservative rural backwoods America, I hope I won't have to be so isolationist to feel safe.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. I see you calling yourself a coward for staying closeted. Speaking as another shy nerd who spent a lot of years on the beaten-up end of freakhood, I'm here...

        I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. I see you calling yourself a coward for staying closeted.

        Speaking as another shy nerd who spent a lot of years on the beaten-up end of freakhood, I'm here to tell you there's nothing cowardly about trying to survive until you can change your circumstances, or can join with others for the support you need if you want to change your culture.

        Loving yourself is winning the game.

        8 votes
        1. Cleb
          Link Parent
          Thank you, I let the self-hate bleed out a bit too much in that reply and that was a bit of a mistake. I'm constantly working on loving myself more and being a better person and I know that it...

          Thank you, I let the self-hate bleed out a bit too much in that reply and that was a bit of a mistake. I'm constantly working on loving myself more and being a better person and I know that it will all be okay in the end. <3

          4 votes
    7. [10]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I have literally never understood gender. Gender segregation in sports and activities always greatly bugged me, especially when I saw a girl who wanted to do sports or a boy who wanted to play...

      How did you know you were different? was the understanding always there? did you figure it out gradually throughout your life? was it a momentary realization?

      I have literally never understood gender. Gender segregation in sports and activities always greatly bugged me, especially when I saw a girl who wanted to do sports or a boy who wanted to play with dolls.

      I think the gradual understanding came from talking to other people and figuring out how they felt. It came from watching movies where the main love story was always between a single male and a single female. It came from society pushing it's ideals onto me.

      How did you feel in relation to your non-LGBT peers? Did you feel significantly different because of your sexual orientation or gender?

      No, but I don't understand gender so both gender and sexual orientation are foreign concepts to me. To me it's more like some people like chocolate ice cream and others like vanilla - you're allowed to have your preferences and it seems awful silly to make any sort of judgement on someone based on what kind of ice cream flavor they prefer.

      How does your sexual orientation or gender affect your daily activities that you feel is different from cis-/hetero folks don't experience?

      Honestly my romantic inclination (poly) affects it more than anything, but that's because I'm busy maintaining so many relationships.

      5 votes
      1. [9]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        When you say "many relationships": romantic? sexual? platonic? family? business?

        Honestly my romantic inclination (poly) affects it more than anything, but that's because I'm busy maintaining so many relationships.

        When you say "many relationships": romantic? sexual? platonic? family? business?

        2 votes
        1. [8]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Yes All joking aside, there's a lot to unpack there, especially since I don't draw boundaries between relationships. I'm not entirely certain what the difference between a "romantic" and a...

          Yes

          All joking aside, there's a lot to unpack there, especially since I don't draw boundaries between relationships. I'm not entirely certain what the difference between a "romantic" and a "platonic" relationship are. I understand "sexual" a bit more, but what if you had sex a long time ago and haven't since? At what point does it become a non-sexual relationship?

          5 votes
          1. [7]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            Academically, neither can I, but I sure can tell you which one's which among mine. Which makes it rather difficult to wrap my head around a perspective which involves no such lines. The day after...

            I'm not entirely certain what the difference between a "romantic" and a "platonic" relationship are.

            Academically, neither can I, but I sure can tell you which one's which among mine.

            Which makes it rather difficult to wrap my head around a perspective which involves no such lines.

            I understand "sexual" a bit more, but what if you had sex a long time ago and haven't since? At what point does it become a non-sexual relationship?

            The day after you stopped having sex?

            3 votes
            1. [6]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              And I'm sure you can understand why I would find the reverse difficult as well! So one must have sex daily in order to maintain a sexual relationship? Fascinating.

              Which makes it rather difficult to wrap my head around a perspective which involves no such lines.

              And I'm sure you can understand why I would find the reverse difficult as well!

              The day after you stopped having sex?

              So one must have sex daily in order to maintain a sexual relationship? Fascinating.

              4 votes
              1. [5]
                ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                I guess what I had on my mind was "the day after one commits, willfully or otherwise, to no longer pursuing a sexual relationship". You can notice the question mark after my answer, which meant I...

                So one must have sex daily in order to maintain a sexual relationship?

                I guess what I had on my mind was "the day after one commits, willfully or otherwise, to no longer pursuing a sexual relationship". You can notice the question mark after my answer, which meant I was proposing it, not entirely sure myself how correct it was.

                The way you put it certainly makes it seem incorrect. Having sex every day is fucking strenuous, man. It's taxing on the body, and it's taxing on the mind. Whatever fantasies boys and girls have in their teens are most certainly not based in reality.

                2 votes
                1. [4]
                  Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  That's a rather amorphous definition. How can I know I have committed to no longer pursuing a sexual relationship if it is not willfully? What if the relationship just naturally lends itself to...

                  "the day after one commits, willfully or otherwise, to no longer pursuing a sexual relationship".

                  That's a rather amorphous definition. How can I know I have committed to no longer pursuing a sexual relationship if it is not willfully? What if the relationship just naturally lends itself to less frequent sex or goes through a phase in which no sex is desired by one or more parties for a significant period of time and then resumes at a later point in time?

                  Seems awfully trivial to me to try and apply a label to it when a relationship is between two people and the specifics of said relationship define it. A label seems to do nothing but add confusion.

                  Having sex every day is fucking strenuous, man. It's taxing on the body, and it's taxing on the mind.

                  Interesting. Why do you feel it is taxing on the body? Do you regularly exercise?

                  How is it taxing on the mind?

                  2 votes
                  1. [3]
                    ThatFanficGuy
                    Link Parent
                    Because I experience the fatigue. I know when I'm at my best, physically. After daily sex for a week I'm not that. I bet shorter instances of sex would reduce the resulting fatigue. At the time...

                    Why do you feel it is taxing on the body?

                    Because I experience the fatigue. I know when I'm at my best, physically. After daily sex for a week I'm not that.

                    I bet shorter instances of sex would reduce the resulting fatigue.

                    At the time when I was experimenting with this, my only exercise was weekly or biweekly phys ed at the uni, which consisted of jogging for about an hour.

                    How is it taxing on the mind?

                    You end up not wanting sex for a while. It's overloading me, like any other sensory experience. Doesn't help that I have high sensory processing sensitivity. Doesn't help either that I have some form of depression, and fatigue helps it be more nasty...

                    Now that I think about, why the fuck am I even putting the latter out there as if it's a shared experience?

                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Gaywallet
                      Link Parent
                      😁 it would appear my incessant questioning has caused a revelation! 💜 You'll find that there are many things we all consider "shared experiences" which are often not quite as shared as we think....

                      Now that I think about, why the fuck am I even putting the latter out there as if it's a shared experience?

                      😁 it would appear my incessant questioning has caused a revelation! 💜

                      You'll find that there are many things we all consider "shared experiences" which are often not quite as shared as we think. I've definitely caught my own foot in my mouth more than once when talking about an experience I've had so many times (and in some cases heard affirmation from others that it is normal or usual) that I simply assumed was a shared experience, only to learn that it is in fact not shared at all.

                      2 votes
                      1. ThatFanficGuy
                        Link Parent
                        Not my first rodeo. "Not having the experience shared by others" is certainly not among first encounters. That said, I maintain that some people can and do get tired of sex. I just need less...

                        You'll find that

                        Not my first rodeo. "Not having the experience shared by others" is certainly not among first encounters.

                        That said, I maintain that some people can and do get tired of sex. I just need less stimulus to provoke the same response.

                        3 votes
  11. [12]
    nacho
    Link
    Thanks for this opportunity! What personal opinions do you generally not share that often out of common cause or respect for other parts of the queer community? When/how does being queer come up...

    Thanks for this opportunity!

    • What personal opinions do you generally not share that often out of common cause or respect for other parts of the queer community?

    • When/how does being queer come up as "a thing" in your daily life? Do you wish it would come up less or more often, in specific situation or not in others etc?

    • What are the things "allies" do in meatspace (not online) that most peeve you?

    8 votes
    1. [6]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Good question. My answer to this could very well put me in a bad light, but I think many men who are sexually active with other men need to put far greater emphasis on safer sex practices. We...

      What personal opinions do you generally not share that often out of common cause or respect for other parts of the queer community?

      Good question.

      My answer to this could very well put me in a bad light, but I think many men who are sexually active with other men need to put far greater emphasis on safer sex practices. We still dwarf all other demographics when it comes to HIV transmission. I don't like saying this because I don't want to stigmatize anyone with HIV, nor do I want to appear sex-negative, but there's also a big part of me that feels like the AIDS crisis which decimated our community is getting lost to time or swept under the rug. Certainly an HIV diagnosis isn't nearly as damning as it used to be, and drugs like PrEP are undoubtedly helping to stem the spread of the virus, but I still see too many people who find condomless sex with strangers as eminently desirable, with little or no thought given to the risks involved.

      When/how does being queer come up as "a thing" in your daily life? Do you wish it would come up less or more often, in specific situation or not in others etc?

      These days, not much. I'm out to friends and family; I'm out at work. I live in a supportive area. Being queer is a very pedestrian thing for me, but honestly, that's what I want it to be. I did the "radical queer" thing when I was younger, but all I really want in life is stability. I like sameness, I like routine, I like feeling comfortable. The ideal of bland domesticity is my actual dream, and I'm living it right now, albeit with a slightly queer twist (I've got a husband instead of a wife).

      It didn't always used to be that way for me, however, so I do have some lingering hangups. Though I try not to stereotype, one of my survival tactics when I was younger was staying away from aggressively macho/masculine men. They were the biggest threat to my safety and the most likely to respond negatively to me. I'm always surprised when someone like that treats me decently after finding out that I'm gay, or treats me and my husband well when we're somewhere together. I fully realize this is prejudicial of me, but it's a internal "queer-sense" thing that I haven't quite shaken yet, despite the fact that it's been countered and proven wrong time after time.

      For example: I used to work with a teacher who was a football coach and was about the most stereotypically manly guy you could imagine. Big beard, large muscles, drove a big truck, liked beer and women, voted Republican, etc. He knew I was gay and I knew he was straight but we never talked about that at all, as I wasn't exactly keen to bring that information up and he didn't seem like the type that would be particularly supportive if I did.

      Nevertheless, one day, when we were teaching a class together, a student said something deeply homophobic to another student. I can't remember exactly what it was, only that it was meant to cut, and cut deeply. This big, straight, burly, masculine linebacker of a teacher stopped the entire class to address the boy's comment, and he did so in the way only a coach can. I don't remember everything that he said, but one line from his speech stuck out to me: "When you speak with hatred like that, you are showing the world how ignorant you are." It was a breathtaking redressing from the unlikeliest of places -- or, at least, what I unfairly assumed to be the unlikeliest of places. I, too, can stereotype negatively based on gender norms, and that's not okay either!

      What are the things "allies" do in meatspace (not online) that most peeve you?

      I honestly can't really think of anything. I don't love a lot of the "ally complaint" discourse that I see online, as I feel like it magnifies a lot of minor issues and isn't counterbalanced by requisite "ally appreciation" discourse. If you're an ally and you're working to support me, I'm not going to nitpick your behavior. I'll treat you with grace and understanding, just as you've shown you're willing to do for me.

      10 votes
      1. [3]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        cc: @nacho I'm double-posting because I just realized I completely forgot the biggest, most important element of being queer in my day to day life, and it's so significant I don't want to bury it...

        cc: @nacho

        I'm double-posting because I just realized I completely forgot the biggest, most important element of being queer in my day to day life, and it's so significant I don't want to bury it in an edit.

        Being in a same-gender, same-size relationship means that my partner and I can share all of our clothes. I wear his hoodies; he wears my t-shirts. In fact, many of our clothes have indeterminate ownership, as we've long forgotten whether they're technically "his" or "mine".

        11 votes
        1. [2]
          patience_limited
          Link Parent
          So there's a funny thing about that. I change sizes gradually over time, but somehow still wind up being able to raid my spouse's wardrobe or use his castoffs if he changes size. He's occasionally...

          So there's a funny thing about that. I change sizes gradually over time, but somehow still wind up being able to raid my spouse's wardrobe or use his castoffs if he changes size. He's occasionally raided mine.

          It's a drift I've observed long enough that I thought about about drafting a paper for The Journal of Irreproducible Results with some variations on physical chemistry equations for diffusion, plugging in clothing variables like genderedness, size delta, and such.

          5 votes
          1. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            That would be an absolute amazing read! And I hear you on the size thing. We too change sizes, and not always at the same rate, so we have a sort of spread of available options in our closet that...

            That would be an absolute amazing read!

            And I hear you on the size thing. We too change sizes, and not always at the same rate, so we have a sort of spread of available options in our closet that we waver between -- sometimes synchronously, sometimes not.

            4 votes
      2. [2]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        PSA: Safer sex practices are not just a concern for gay men. I've had more than one encounter with unclean toys, and held the hands of people who've gotten everything from chlamydia to HPV to...

        I think many men who are sexually active with other men need to put far greater emphasis on safer sex practices.

        PSA: Safer sex practices are not just a concern for gay men. I've had more than one encounter with unclean toys, and held the hands of people who've gotten everything from chlamydia to HPV to herpes and antibiotic-resistant UTIs without ever touching a man at all in their lives. I don't know that there's been lesbian transmission of HIV, but no one should be complacent about intimate contact.

        6 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Absolutely agreed. I wasn't trying to say that only gay men should be concerned about this, but more that they're my area of greatest concern at the moment. You're right that it is imperative that...

          Absolutely agreed. I wasn't trying to say that only gay men should be concerned about this, but more that they're my area of greatest concern at the moment. You're right that it is imperative that everyone engage in safer sex practices.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      When/how does being queer come up as "a thing" in your daily life? I live with my lesbian partner and people often assume that we're "just friends", ask if we want to split checks when we're...

      When/how does being queer come up as "a thing" in your daily life?

      I live with my lesbian partner and people often assume that we're "just friends", ask if we want to split checks when we're clearly on a date, etc.

      Not horrible, just funny and mildly annoying.

      9 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Happens all the time to me and my husband too. I shared elsewhere in this thread that we get mistaken for brothers constantly. Always a source of awkwardness and humor.

        Happens all the time to me and my husband too. I shared elsewhere in this thread that we get mistaken for brothers constantly. Always a source of awkwardness and humor.

        6 votes
    3. [2]
      CALICO
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Maybe stretching it a bit, but there's a segment of the community that cares about labels; from my perspective it seems like a good chunk. I could not care less about labels, and I have some...
      1. Maybe stretching it a bit, but there's a segment of the community that cares about labels; from my perspective it seems like a good chunk. I could not care less about labels, and I have some concern (a little bit) about people forming bubbles within their labels. In my perfect world, we wouldn't feel the need to define ourselves to other people; we'd just be who we are, and dig who we dig. Ya dig?

      2. Pretty infrequently. Those of my friends who aren't queer, are allies. I make it a point to avoid talking sex, religion, or politics in the workplace, so that's null. Really it's only when meeting a potential partner and getting to know them that it comes up. Like, "FYI, I'm x-y-z. If that's cool, cool, but I thought you ought to know upfront."
        That amount is fine. Who I am is not a big deal, and I'm glad it doesn't have to be.

      3a. Don't speak on behalf of me. Join your voice with mine, but don't presume to know me better than me.

      3b. Not specifically Allies, but it really chaps my ass when people act like humans invented alternative sexualities and trans-folk appeared out of thin air just recently. Check out r/SapphoAndHerFriend to see what I mean.

      9 votes
      1. leigh
        Link Parent
        This is a pet peeve of mine as well. Labels are great when you use them to describe and talk about yourself and find people that share your experience. There seems to be a contingent that forget...

        there's a segment of the community that cares about labels

        This is a pet peeve of mine as well. Labels are great when you use them to describe and talk about yourself and find people that share your experience. There seems to be a contingent that forget that life does not naturally sort itself out precisely into neat little boxes with labels on, and focus so much on policing and gatekeeping the ways other people use labels. It's a focus on trying to produce a precise taxonomy of queerness, which for some people overshadows the community and solidarity aspects, and that bothers me.

        4 votes
    4. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      And you want me to share them here, where other LGBT+ people can see them? I'm not falling for your trick! I am never "queer". As evidenced by my own question here, I don't even know what "queer"...

      What personal opinions do you generally not share that often out of common cause or respect for other parts of the queer community?

      And you want me to share them here, where other LGBT+ people can see them? I'm not falling for your trick!

      When/how does being queer come up as "a thing" in your daily life? Do you wish it would come up less or more often, in specific situation or not in others etc?

      I am never "queer". As evidenced by my own question here, I don't even know what "queer" means for an individual. I am gay.

      As I explained in another answer, being gay doesn't really affect my daily life.

      What are the things "allies" do in meatspace (not online) that most peeve you?

      There's a woman at work who insists on telling all our new employees that I'm gay. I know she thinks she's being supportive and helpful (she's very pro-gay), but it's annoying. It's my news to tell, and I will choose who to tell it to. I feel exposed by her telling all and sundry.

      4 votes
  12. [2]
    emdash
    Link
    Other LGBT people, question for y'all. How often do you get tested for HIV? And looking back into the past, how have you adjusted that test frequency with your risk profile? Anyone here on PrEP?

    Other LGBT people, question for y'all.

    How often do you get tested for HIV? And looking back into the past, how have you adjusted that test frequency with your risk profile? Anyone here on PrEP?

    8 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      3-6 months, depends on how often I get new partners and how often I have unprotected sex. It basically works out that the frequency tends to be whenever there's a new risk entering the polycule in...

      3-6 months, depends on how often I get new partners and how often I have unprotected sex. It basically works out that the frequency tends to be whenever there's a new risk entering the polycule in some fashion.

      No PrEP currently but it is something I've thought a lot about as trans people in general are at higher risk. I'm pretty obsessive when it comes to real risks, however. I haven't been on the receiving end of unprotected anal sex from a penis in over a decade.

      8 votes
  13. [11]
    lionirdeadman
    Link
    Some context before asking the questions. I'm currently in CEGEP and I've been quite involved in the LGBTQ+ comity there. As such, I've been taking more important roles there and something that...

    Some context before asking the questions. I'm currently in CEGEP and I've been quite involved in the LGBTQ+ comity there.

    As such, I've been taking more important roles there and something that bothers some members and myself to an extent is... Should an ally be in such a position? Are there any things that we should keep in mind while doing this?

    What solutions do you think are most appropriate in languages where gender neutrality is basically impossible (such as say, French)?

    7 votes
    1. [8]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      You mean, in an LGBT committee? Yes, you can join in. However, I would hate to see an LGBT committee dominated by non-LGBT people. Non-LGBT people should be in a minority in these organisations....

      Should an ally be in such a position?

      You mean, in an LGBT committee? Yes, you can join in.

      However, I would hate to see an LGBT committee dominated by non-LGBT people. Non-LGBT people should be in a minority in these organisations.

      Are there any things that we should keep in mind while doing this?

      When an L, G, B, T, etc person tells you something they've experienced, listen. You don't live the same lives as they do. We don't all even live the same lives as each other: I, as a gay man, have never experienced transphobia. We can't presume to speak for people unlike ourselves, living different lives to us.

      7 votes
      1. [7]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        Would you say the same if say, I became the president of it? I currently have the most time out of all our members and we expect some our oldest members to be leaving soon so I'll most likely be...

        You mean, in an LGBT committee? Yes, you can join in.

        Would you say the same if say, I became the president of it? I currently have the most time out of all our members and we expect some our oldest members to be leaving soon so I'll most likely be best placed to take the responsibilities in a few months. Although I still feel it would be quite weird to take that role since I can't effectively represent them..

        However, I would hate to see an LGBT committee dominated by non-LGBT people. Non-LGBT people should be in a minority in these organisations.

        That is definitely something that scares me a lot, we have a lot of mixing with the other committees since we're physically close but also, it's nice to do activities with them in general but on the other hand, it means we have less queer people by percentage. I want to try and make ourselves more accessible but it's also something we struggle with since we don't want to be too visible, it's a difficult balancing act. Any ideas by chance?

        When an L, G, B, T, etc person tells you something they've experienced, listen. You don't live the same lives as they do. We don't all even live the same lives as each other: I, as a gay man, have never experienced transphobia. We can't presume to speak for people unlike ourselves, living different lives to us.

        That's definitely something I've heard and will keep in mind.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Some of the fiercest, most capable, and most effective queer advocates I've known have been straight. Leadership is a skill, backed by passion and knowledge, and these individuals were skillful...

          Some of the fiercest, most capable, and most effective queer advocates I've known have been straight. Leadership is a skill, backed by passion and knowledge, and these individuals were skillful leaders, with the right passions and knowledge. I would not have a problem with a straight person leading an LGBT organization if I know that they are driven, capable, and committed to the best interests of the organization.

          I will echo what @Algernon_Asimov said though: the knowledge to be a good advocate comes from listening and learning. This is an imposition on all of us, not just straight people, mind you. Like Algernon, I've never experienced transphobia, nor do I know what it's like to be trans first-hand. As such, my responsibility has been to learn that for myself by listening to others, and then use my voice and privilege to advocate for and support them in turn.

          Some will say that being straight inhibits your ability to relate to LGBT people, which is an assertion I reject. If I believed straight people simply couldn't understand us then I wouldn't bother with advocacy in the first place! Why try to have people understand us if they simply can't? I believe that learning from others' stories is what helps us think bigger than just ourselves, and one's ability to do so is not contingent on whether someone is straight or LGBT. When it comes down to it, the line between being straight and being LGBT can be artificial and limiting, especially in cases like this, because if you are actively and tirelessly working to help support us and our cause, then, well, you're one of us! Even if you're straight!

          When I first became aware of variants to the "LGBT" acronym, one of the first I heard was "LGBTQA" with "A" standing for "Ally". I have always supported this interpretation of our community (though I don't love that particular acronym) because I welcome straight people that want to be a part of it too. There's enough room in our community for everyone, and you don't need to show a membership card at the door. If you want to be by our side and support us, then welcome! You can stand under my umbrella.

          11 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I have nothing to add to this but I just want to thank you, I'd feel bad not saying anything. It means a lot to me.

            I have nothing to add to this but I just want to thank you, I'd feel bad not saying anything. It means a lot to me.

            6 votes
          2. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            To add to this, I don't think any president, CEO, or other leader of any organization can ever appropriately or effectively represent everyone that they are responsible for. In my opinion the most...

            To add to this, I don't think any president, CEO, or other leader of any organization can ever appropriately or effectively represent everyone that they are responsible for. In my opinion the most important quality a leader can have is that they listen to the people they are leading, first and foremost, because if they do not listen they can never know what their organization really thinks.

            Too often leaders get corrupted by the idea that they 'know best' or even 'know better' because they have the experience and knowledge that others do not. This lack of humility is what turns them from potentially great leaders in to adequate or even poor ones.

            @lionirdeadman I don't really know a whole lot about you, but the very fact that you are anxious about how it would look to have a cis het person as the president of such an organization shows to me that you're more ready for this position more than you think - it shows that you have been listening to what your fellow members have been saying and you care so deeply for them that the very idea that you could improperly represent them is upsetting to you. I believe this emotional drive can be harnessed as a force for good - it will cause you to question yourself and truly listen to your non-ally peers about their wants and needs and it can help you be a very effective leader.

            6 votes
        2. [3]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I'm going to reiterate what I and @kfwyre have said: it's important to listen to the people you represent. Surround yourself with people who can tell you what their experiences are, and then...

          Would you say the same if say, I became the president of it? [...] I still feel it would be quite weird to take that role since I can't effectively represent them..

          I'm going to reiterate what I and @kfwyre have said: it's important to listen to the people you represent. Surround yourself with people who can tell you what their experiences are, and then listen to those people.

          Being a president of an organisation is often about taking up an administrative burden so that other people can do the things they need to do. Think of yourself as their stage hand or their pit-crew; you do what's necessary to keep the technical stuff moving so they can strut their stuff and win the race.

          Any ideas by chance?

          Affirmative action. Make sure that at least half your committee consists of LGBT people. Hunt them down if necessary. Conscript them. Even if they just sit there in committee meetings and share their opinions, so other people (like yourself) know what to focus on, that's useful.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            The thing is I can't just take anyone. Each staff of the comittee can open our room at all times so they have to be able to represent the community in a good light (which is sadly not what I can...

            Affirmative action. Make sure that at least half your committee consists of LGBT people. Hunt them down if necessary. Conscript them. Even if they just sit there in committee meetings and share their opinions, so other people (like yourself) know what to focus on, that's useful.

            The thing is I can't just take anyone. Each staff of the comittee can open our room at all times so they have to be able to represent the community in a good light (which is sadly not what I can say of all of our members). And we only have 2 supervisors which can do nothing but the rest have responsabilities so it's not something I could really entrust to anyone since they might not have the time or motivation to do so.

            3 votes
            1. Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              Do the best you can. I'm not there. You are. You'll have to work out how to ensure that your LGBT committee continues to include LGBT people. Maybe that means you need to create two levels of...

              Do the best you can. I'm not there. You are. You'll have to work out how to ensure that your LGBT committee continues to include LGBT people.

              Maybe that means you need to create two levels of committee members: committee members who can do things (like open the room), and committee members who provide advice and insight.

              4 votes
    2. [2]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      I'm not exactly sure what CEGEP is to be honest, but you make it sound like a kind of LGBT advocacy or support group? If so, I have no problem with a straight person holding leadership or such....

      As such, I've been taking more important roles there and something that bothers some members and myself to an extent is... Should an ally be in such a position? Are there any things that we should keep in mind while doing this?

      I'm not exactly sure what CEGEP is to be honest, but you make it sound like a kind of LGBT advocacy or support group? If so, I have no problem with a straight person holding leadership or such. Only thing is I believe the focus should remain on LGBT topics, since that's the founding purpose of the group of course, but there's no reason why you couldn't be straight and still be involved with the community.

      What solutions do you think are most appropriate in languages where gender neutrality is basically impossible (such as say, French)?

      No idea, sorry. The three languages I interact with most these days are English, Japanese, and Hawaiian, and all three of them managed to avoid the pitfall of gendering all nouns, haha. I guess the closest alternative would be to switch to the neuter forms when possible, but as far as I know, lots of languages don't have neuter forms for professions or things involving people? (Like German has Ärzte and Ärztinnen for doctor)

      5 votes
      1. lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        I'll just link the wikipedia article since it'll be better than anything I can come up with but the tl;dr is pre-university and technical college which is exclusive to Quebec. It's kinda both but...

        I'm not exactly sure what CEGEP is to be honest

        I'll just link the wikipedia article since it'll be better than anything I can come up with but the tl;dr is pre-university and technical college which is exclusive to Quebec.

        but you make it sound like a kind of LGBT advocacy or support group? If so, I have no problem with a straight person holding leadership or such. Only thing is I believe the focus should remain on LGBT topics, since that's the founding purpose of the group of course, but there's no reason why you couldn't be straight and still be involved with the community.

        It's kinda both but most of what we do is simply provide a safe space for people. And while the focus is definitely LGBTQ+ topics, it's kinda hard to do much around those topics in actuality. Do you have any ideas of activities which would be good?

        managed to avoid the pitfall of gendering all nouns, haha. I guess the closest alternative would be to switch to the neuter forms when possible, but as far as I know, lots of languages don't have neuter forms for professions or things involving people?

        Yeah.. French's official way of not gendering people is.. using the male pronouns which is well, 'usable' in writing but when talking, it's no good at all. Everything is gendered, tables are gendered... There's some options like "lae", "iel" and such but they still don't work in spoken form because adjectives need to be gendered while talking (which can be saved in writing with say ".e" which basically says that it's both / up to the reader to figure out which is appropriate). It's something we struggle a lot with and I don't think it's something we'll be able to fix anytime soon sadly..

        6 votes
  14. [5]
    unknown user
    (edited )
    Link
    So, this is a sensitive one. I’ve, completely anecdotally, noticed what seems to be a higher than expected overlap between being transgender and having autism or aspergers, in my personal life. Of...

    So, this is a sensitive one.

    I’ve, completely anecdotally, noticed what seems to be a higher than expected overlap between being transgender and having autism or aspergers, in my personal life. Of course not all folks and not in every case, but more often than I’d expect in a random sample set.

    Is there a known link between these, do any of you know? Maybe this was just the odds in my own life?

    Thanks for doing this!

    EDIT: Just wanted to say. @patience_limited, @Gaywallet, @mftrhu, thanks so much for your thoughtful and genuine responses. I learned a lot.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Keep in mind that the STEM community, particularly in programming, engineering, and mathematics, has some inherent selection [PDF warning] for people with ASD traits; your sample likely has some...

      Keep in mind that the STEM community, particularly in programming, engineering, and mathematics, has some inherent selection [PDF warning] for people with ASD traits; your sample likely has some biases.

      This is a completely ungeneralizable observation on my part, but it seems to me that the nature of ASD traits makes it harder to ignore, dismiss, or successfully repress one's sexual orientation and gender divergences, regardless of social norms.

      As /u/gaywallet mentioned, the studies on this connection are limited. Much of the early research on gender specificity in diagnosed ASD has been called into question due to historical under- or misdiagnosis in born women. A recent study suggests that ASD traits are indeed more common among transgender and non-binary people, and that natal females who present as transgender or non-binary are more likely than natal males to have ASD traits.

      Since I was born female, in a time when prevalence of ASD was substantially less and rarely suspected in girls, I never got diagnosed. It's pretty evident at this point that I'm at least as Asperger-y as my dad was. Self-administered testing doesn't count, but I have some skin in this game.

      9 votes
      1. Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        One other thing I'd like to chime in with, is that even the identification of trans people is rife with issues. A study I read sometime last year talked about issues ranging from whether trans...

        One other thing I'd like to chime in with, is that even the identification of trans people is rife with issues. A study I read sometime last year talked about issues ranging from whether trans individuals were identified by particular diagnoses to arbitrary cut-offs which often excluded non-binary individuals to problems with how questions were worded causing issues with who was self-identifying. The field of research into transgender, non-binary, and other gender nonconforming individuals is still incredibly new and we have lots to discover even with respect to some of the groundwork that supports all other studies.

        Tagging @umbrae so they can be sure to see this too.

        6 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      There have been a few limited studies on this connection. I'm sure someone else can chime in with more, just what I found from a quick pubmed search on key terms. It's still very much an emerging...

      There have been a few limited studies on this connection. I'm sure someone else can chime in with more, just what I found from a quick pubmed search on key terms. It's still very much an emerging field - in fact there was a pretty big finding recently wrt trans and genetics that I caught in my feed a few days ago.

      6 votes
    3. mftrhu
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I never actually saw a doctor before I turned 21, let alone a therapist or psychiatrist/psychologist. Oh, sure, I had a pediatrician when I was a child, I got my shots and all that, but I'm a...

      I never actually saw a doctor before I turned 21, let alone a therapist or psychiatrist/psychologist. Oh, sure, I had a pediatrician when I was a child, I got my shots and all that, but I'm a generally healthy person who isn't prone to risk-taking behaviour. I never needed to see a doctor, so I didn't.

      When I turned 21, I learned what the word "transgender" meant. It stopped pointing at some vague idea of a sex worker with a deep voice - thanks, oh country of mine, for the representation! - and it linked up with the word "transition". But transition required the consent of doctors - therapists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists - and that's when I started seeing them.

      Some of the people I talk with online have told me that I might be on the autism spectrum. That might be - I'm very introverted, I don't understand most people, I have little patience for them - but if so, it doesn't actually impair me.

      I never received an ASD diagnosis* and, before I started actually interacting with the health system, I couldn't have received a diagnosis. Assuming I'm on the spectrum, I would have never been referred for that. But when you start seeing a therapist/psych(.+)st as extensively as most trans people still have to do - and when a lot of them still try to pin anything on you that could "explain away" your dysphoria, out of ignorance or malice or desire to appease your relatives - then it should not be surprising that (diagnoses of) ASD co-occur more often with GD, before even considering any other factors that might make it more or less likely to occur in the trans population.

      TL;DR: trans people are, relative to the general population, more likely to see a mental health professional and for a longer amount of time - if only to access trans-related health care - which increases the chances of both diagnosis and mis-diagnosis of even mild ASDs.


      * But I have treated my psychiatrists as hostile from the get-go - and for good reasons, as they actually had the gall to make me take the COGIATI - and so I have kept my interactions with them at the minimum necessary to obtain a GD diagnosis.
      † Even if informed consent might exist and be relatively widespread in the US, most of Europe - where I live - is pretty heavy-handed with gatekeeping: it starts at a minimum of six months of therapy (e.g. ONIG in Italy) and, AFAICT, it only goes up.
      ‡ The COGIATI (COmbined Gender Identity And Transsexuality Inventory) is, to put it plainly, a load of sexist bullshit, at best good for a laugh. It purports to "diagnose" dysphoria in trans-feminine individuals with questions such as "how good are you at math?", "how well can you park?" and "did you prefer dolls or trucks as a child?"

      4 votes
  15. [7]
    Death
    Link
    Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out or realized you weren't cisgender and/or heterosexual? Why (not)? If you have, how did you answers these doubts...
    • Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out or realized you weren't cisgender and/or heterosexual? Why (not)?

    • If you have, how did you answers these doubts about yourself?

    7 votes
    1. tindall
      Link Parent
      Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out? Perhaps one of the most universal trans experiences is doubting that one is "really" trans, or having anxiety...

      Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out?

      Perhaps one of the most universal trans experiences is doubting that one is "really" trans, or having anxiety about whether various steps of medical transition are a good idea. For example, one of my most significant mental blocks regarding transition was the idea that I'd end up stuck "halfway" - with a feminine-looking body but no way to get rid of my facial hair or change my voice.

      How did you answers these doubts about yourself?

      While it's obviously healthy to check in with oneself on matters like this, and to carefully consider the options before e.g. getting surgery, it's important to realize that questions and doubts like this come mostly from societal transphobia, which gets internalized by a lot of trans people, including myself.

      What do I mean by this? Well, a lot of transphobia comes in the form of accusations that trans people, especially trans women, "aren't really" their gender, and are "just pretending". Hearing that narrative over and over again can be really difficult. In addition, the cultural concept of trans women is generally seen as a matter of humor, mental illness, or both - think of that fucking Robin Williams movie, or Him from the Powerpuff Girls, or that one character from Split (which is awful for a whole other set of reasons, but still).

      So, for me, the most important realization has been that I live in a world that, in some ways, is pretty explicitly geared against me. Society wants me to stop being my authentic self, even if some countercultural groups and even some progressive companies and schools don't feel that way. Holding my identity and my expression in the face of that is hard, but it's doable - because it's not me that's doubting me, it's someone else.

      12 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Great questions. My sexual orientation is completely rigid and inflexible. Where I grew up, being gay was the absolute worst thing you could be, so if I had been able to muster up even the...

      Great questions.

      My sexual orientation is completely rigid and inflexible. Where I grew up, being gay was the absolute worst thing you could be, so if I had been able to muster up even the slightest passing interest in women I would have clung to that for dear life. That hasn't changed since then, and I don't expect it to in the future. I consider this to be a rarity in the LGBT community, as I know many people who cannot speak with such confidence about their identities. Mine is very black and white, with no gray area, no ebbs and flows over time, and no exceptions. It is clear and consistent, and it has been since I first became aware of it.

      It's taken me a lot of reading and conversations with others to appreciate that other people have more fluid or less well-defined experiences, and it took me a long time to realize that such identities could be destinations in and of themselves, rather than part of a journey to find their "true" label. I used to think that people with less explicitly delineated sexualities were simply confused or waffling, and that they'd some day achieve the same level of clarity about themselves that I had, but only after some soul searching and brutal honesty with themselves. I now know that's incredibly presumptuous of me and a fundamental misunderstanding of how this all works. My experiences don't directly map to all others.

      9 votes
    3. emdash
      Link Parent
      I'm in the same boat as @kfwyre. I just have absolutely zero attraction to the opposite sex at all, and that opinion has been temporally impervious since I realised I was different from everyone...

      I'm in the same boat as @kfwyre. I just have absolutely zero attraction to the opposite sex at all, and that opinion has been temporally impervious since I realised I was different from everyone else. Sorry, this seems like a boring answer—but for me at least, I'm 0% fluid on my gender or sexuality.

      6 votes
    4. Silbern
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Oh yeah, absolutely. I tend to like guys who are more on the boyish / feminine end of the spectrum as opposed to super masculine daddy types, and I have definitely encountered girls that trigger...

      Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out or realized you weren't cisgender and/or heterosexual? Why (not)?

      Oh yeah, absolutely. I tend to like guys who are more on the boyish / feminine end of the spectrum as opposed to super masculine daddy types, and I have definitely encountered girls that trigger that same instinct. I wonder if sometimes, deep down, a part of me really is straight haha.

      If you have, how did you answers these doubts about yourself?

      In a way, I haven't. I've always thought that I'll go where my sexuality takes me, and if that happens to be a woman, then I'll come out to my family for a second time if need be, as a bi dude.

      That being said, these sorts of questions are rarely solid. I don't find the actual body of most women attractive at all, just occassionally their face, and I've definitely met guys who do solidly trigger my attractiveness meter. So I figure if I'm more often and more deeply attracted to guys, labelling myself as gay can't be too far off.

      5 votes
    5. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      No. Never. Not at all. I've been gay forever. It's baked into me. I was gay before I was old enough to realise what "gay" was. I never had to think about it. I've had occasional moments where I...

      Have you ever doubted your personal LGBT+ identity after you had already come out or realized you weren't cisgender and/or heterosexual? Why (not)?

      No. Never. Not at all.

      I've been gay forever. It's baked into me. I was gay before I was old enough to realise what "gay" was. I never had to think about it.

      I've had occasional moments where I imagined how life might have been easier if I was straight, but I've always known I'm gay.

      5 votes
    6. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      A little bit, yeah. For a few years, I thought I was straight, but I only liked this one guy because he's pretty feminine. Eventually, about a year ago, I feel like my gayness has increased, and I...

      A little bit, yeah. For a few years, I thought I was straight, but I only liked this one guy because he's pretty feminine. Eventually, about a year ago, I feel like my gayness has increased, and I knew it wasn't a phase. I don't know how or why that happened, but I'm firmly in the bi camp now, leaning mostly towards guys.

      3 votes
  16. [7]
    Death
    Link
    Maybe another possibily contentious one but what are your thoughts on what I sometimes see referred to as "neo-pronouns" like ze/zir or xe/xir?

    Maybe another possibily contentious one but what are your thoughts on what I sometimes see referred to as "neo-pronouns" like ze/zir or xe/xir?

    7 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Language is constantly trying to evolve to meet the needs of society. This is just another situation in which people are attempting to expand our language in order to accommodate a need. I don't...

      Language is constantly trying to evolve to meet the needs of society. This is just another situation in which people are attempting to expand our language in order to accommodate a need. I don't personally know anyone who insists on any of these pronouns and isn't okay with they/them and I think it's likely to be an artifact of our time and to die out but that's mainly because the non-gendered they/them has been built into English for hundreds of years.

      10 votes
    2. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I'll begin with pointing out that I'm cis, so I'm speaking as someone who's never felt uncomfortable in their assigned pronouns, which no doubt influences my perspective. With that said, I wrote...

      I'll begin with pointing out that I'm cis, so I'm speaking as someone who's never felt uncomfortable in their assigned pronouns, which no doubt influences my perspective.

      With that said, I wrote about neo-pronouns at length here. The first part of the comment isn't super relevant, but the last part directly addresses non-standard pronouns.

      In short, I think they introduce a lot of friction in language use that's avoidable by using "they", which is an elegant, pre-existing, built-in solution to gender-neutral pronouns. Many people don't realize that they're already comfortable with they in both a gender-neutral sense, as well as a singular one, and it's this relative invisibility that is "they's" greatest strength: it doesn't force speakers into metacognition that can inhibit the comfort and fluidity of their expressive language -- particularly speech.

      That said, some people like neo-pronouns specifically because they force that metacognition. I've seen people use them in an activist sense, where they specifically want to make speakers actively examine the language they're using. In this sense, neo-pronouns are quite effective.

      Ultimately, I'm not opposed to them, and if someone I know strongly preferred them, I would respect that person's wishes, but I think neo-pronouns are a much taller hill to climb than the much more convenient and recognizable "they".

      8 votes
      1. tindall
        Link Parent
        It's funny, because this seems to be becoming my shtick, but I think it's important to be historical about this. Some third-wave feminist and early nonbinary (mostly agender) movements converged...

        It's funny, because this seems to be becoming my shtick, but I think it's important to be historical about this. Some third-wave feminist and early nonbinary (mostly agender) movements converged on what we now call Spivak pronouns in the 90s and early 2000s, only to have them soundly rejected pretty much everywhere, which is a major reason contemporary nonbinary movements tend to center on they/them pronouns.

        6 votes
    3. Cleb
      Link Parent
      Love it. Don't use them myself but love seeing people trying to buck the constraints of binary gender by carving their own path. I use them for whoever prefers them, but mirroring Gaywallet's...

      Love it. Don't use them myself but love seeing people trying to buck the constraints of binary gender by carving their own path. I use them for whoever prefers them, but mirroring Gaywallet's experience, I've never met someone who also doesn't have a they/them or other traditional pronoun that they're also fine with people using.

      Does it make a difference? I think it does. Lots of people love to throw the concept of it under the bus of "oh it's just a fashion statement" or "oh it's just a zany snowflake label", but I like how it's a relatively quick filter you can inquire someone about. I know other queer people who don't like neo-pronouns and still default to they/them or whatever secondary preference the person has, but I rarely run into someone who has a strong hate for them that isn't also queerphobic in some other ways. YMMV of course, my experience.

      Will they stand the test of time? I'm not an expert enough to say so. I hope they do, but I would not be surprised if they don't.

      7 votes
    4. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      In the past 1,500 years, since Frisian farmers first migrated from Denmark to Britain bringing the ancestor of the English language with them, English has almost never grown because someone...

      In the past 1,500 years, since Frisian farmers first migrated from Denmark to Britain bringing the ancestor of the English language with them, English has almost never grown because someone created a brand-new word from scratch and got other people to use it. This has always been the exception, rather than the rule. English has almost always grown because someone took an existing word (either from within English or from another language) and repurposed or redesigned it. It's what we do. (This quote describes it perfectly!)

      While the intention behind neo-pronouns is good, they're just never going to take off. "Fetch" is not going to happen. We already have a set of words available to do this job: they/them/their/themself. And, in the grand tradition of English, these words are currently being repurposed. Where "they" used to refer to a group of people, or a single indeterminate person ("the user enters their password"), it is now being expanded to refer to a single known person ("my friend forgot their password").

      5 votes
    5. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      I think they're really cool and I fully support people with the courage to mold language.

      I think they're really cool and I fully support people with the courage to mold language.

      The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
      - George Bernard Shaw

      3 votes
  17. [6]
    envy
    Link
    I have a few questions about coming out. When you come out to someone, what is your preferred reaction? If I say OK, and maybe inquire if you have a partner/ can I see a photo/ oh they are cute,...

    I have a few questions about coming out.

    When you come out to someone, what is your preferred reaction? If I say OK, and maybe inquire if you have a partner/ can I see a photo/ oh they are cute, is that copasetic?

    Lesbians never come out to me. I'm a dude, so I think I know why. (I'll resist the almost irresistible temptation to mansplain it to you all.) But if you told my wife or one of my close friends, then I probably know. I never mention it, to you or to anyone else. I figure it is your business to share with others, not mine, and I frankly am not sure if I should even know your business. Do you prefer it that way?

    Lastly, is there a difference between coming out to someone who has gay friends, vs coming out to someone who has not had a chance to ask all those questions that might be bubbling around in their heads? Or has the internet allowed everyone to get all the usual questions out of the way first? Do any of you lead in with the question "Do you have any gay friends.... that you know about?"

    Peace and love to you all.

    7 votes
    1. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If the person coming out to you is newly out or is less likely to have other supportive individuals in their life, explicit affirmation will likely go a long way. The people that openly supported...

      If the person coming out to you is newly out or is less likely to have other supportive individuals in their life, explicit affirmation will likely go a long way. The people that openly supported me when I first began making those very difficult initial disclosures made a world of difference for me, and their positive responses paved the way for me to feel more comfortable to open up to others.

      If the individual is more comfortable in themselves and likely has a larger support network, explicit affirmation becomes less necessary, though it is never unappreciated unless it's overkill. I'll always value kindness and support, but I've had people overdo it and treat me like I'm a unicorn or something fantastical, which is uncomfortable. I'm now that the point where I don't "come out" in my life so much as just mention my husband which puts the information out there like any other piece of self-disclosure. Doing so is a easy, simple disclosure which doesn't really get or warrant reactions at all, which is nice for how normal it feels.

      With regard to questions, asking is fine as long as you make sure the person is okay with being asked them first. Many of us relish the chance to answer questions about ourselves (case in point: this thread!), but many of us have also likely ended up in the "LGBT Hot Seat" where you get lots of questions, often from a relative stranger, many of which can feel invasive. I have no problem answering questions about myself, my experiences, and my sexuality, but I definitely have a problem starting off with those things with a relative stranger, or when I'm in a situation where conversation is supposed to stay light.

      Ultimately, compassion and empathy is king, and your read of an individual's feelings in the moment will likely far exceed generic advice on the internet. Should someone choose to come out to you, the best thing you can do is ask yourself why this particular person is coming out to you, and respond in kind. If it's casually dropped into the conversation, keep your response light and casual. If it's a more serious disclosure, treat it with commensurate gravity, anchoring your response in support, because they likely need it from you.

      9 votes
    2. [4]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I don't really expect anything, so this is a reasonable response to me. This is exactly correct. Just ask the person if they're okay with you asking questions about the queer community. Some...

      When you come out to someone, what is your preferred reaction? If I say OK, and maybe inquire if you have a partner/ can I see a photo/ oh they are cute, is that copasetic?

      I don't really expect anything, so this is a reasonable response to me.

      I figure it is your business to share with others, not mine, and I frankly am not sure if I should even know your business.

      This is exactly correct.

      Lastly, is there a difference between coming out to someone who has gay friends, vs coming out to someone who has not had a chance to ask all those questions that might be bubbling around in their heads?

      Just ask the person if they're okay with you asking questions about the queer community. Some people are knowledgeable and others are not and they may be willing or unwilling to share this knowledge. If you're interested or have questions, I'd encourage you to seek them out on the internet like you are doing right now! Taking a little effort to learn on your own first rather than asking for someone to explain it to you shows that you actually care.

      Do any of you lead in with the question "Do you have any gay friends.... that you know about?"

      What? What's the purpose of this question? I'm confused here

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        The purpose of this question is to scout the territory before revealing yourself. You're ready to come out to your friend Bob. Yay! However, you don't want to be faced with all those questions...

        Do any of you lead in with the question "Do you have any gay friends.... that you know about?"

        What? What's the purpose of this question? I'm confused here

        The purpose of this question is to scout the territory before revealing yourself.

        You're ready to come out to your friend Bob. Yay!

        However, you don't want to be faced with all those questions that someone asks when they meet an LGBT person for the first time (i.e. most of the questions in this very thread). You just want to pass on your news to your friend, without having to sit down for a three-hour long question-and-answer session about life as a member of a gender and sexual minority.

        If Bob knows other LGBT people, then Bob has probably already asked his first-timer questions of those other people, so you're safe. However, if Bob doesn't know any other LGBT people, and you're going to be the first LGBT person he knows, who he can ask questions of... you're about to have to give that three-hour tutorial about LGBT life.

        So you ask him first. "Do you have any gay friends?" That way you know if coming out is going to take you three minutes or three hours.

        (Did I get it right, @envy?)

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          envy
          Link Parent
          Yup. Am I wrong to assume that coming out to Backwater Bob is a lot more scary/effort than coming out to Big City Bob who already has a bundle of gay friends and acquaintances?

          Yup. Am I wrong to assume that coming out to Backwater Bob is a lot more scary/effort than coming out to Big City Bob who already has a bundle of gay friends and acquaintances?

          4 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            No, you're not wrong. Coming out to Backwater Bob (or Bobbi) is more scary than coming out to Big City Bob (or Bobbi). (And there are plenty of Backwater Bobs in big cities as well.) However, the...

            No, you're not wrong. Coming out to Backwater Bob (or Bobbi) is more scary than coming out to Big City Bob (or Bobbi). (And there are plenty of Backwater Bobs in big cities as well.)

            However, the big problem is not that the person you're coming out to will have lots of questions. The big problem is that the person you're coming out to already knows everything they need to know, and the result of that knowledge is that they refuse to have one of those "filthy faggots" around. The big problem is that any person you come out to will potentially react negatively.

            Every coming out is scary. Every coming out is a moment of vulnerability. You're putting yourself in the firing line for abuse, assault, or worse (parents have literally killed their own children for being gay). The risk is higher for people who matter more. If a casual acquaintance says "fuck off, faggot", that doesn't mean much. If your own mother rejects you, your father bashes you, and they throw you out of the house, that means a lot.

            Knowing whether the person you want to come out to already has LGBT friends reduces the risk.

            But not entirely.

            My own parents' social circle when I was a child included a gay couple among the various married couples. If I'd thought about it as a teenager, I would have been confident that my parents would accept me when I came out to them. I didn't actually think about it, because my coming out was unplanned and unexpected. However, regardless of how I came out... my parents reacted badly. It seems things are different when it's your own child who's going to catch AIDS and die.

            So, even if you know that the person you're coming out to has LGBT friends, that still doesn't reduce the risk of a negative reaction to zero.

            Coming out is fucking scary. Every. Single. Time.

            9 votes
  18. [17]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    I've got one I've been wondering for years, but never asked anywhere because it's got the potential to be highly offensive: Is there any reason gay men who act like women? Is it sort of a "finding...

    I've got one I've been wondering for years, but never asked anywhere because it's got the potential to be highly offensive: Is there any reason gay men who act like women? Is it sort of a "finding themselves" thing?

    I don't mean all gay men, but also only am referring to cisgendered gay men who act like this.

    6 votes
    1. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I once read a theory that says gay men tend to identify more with their mother than their father when they're children. As such, they mirror their mother's mannerisms: high voice, lisp, feminine...

      I once read a theory that says gay men tend to identify more with their mother than their father when they're children. As such, they mirror their mother's mannerisms: high voice, lisp, feminine gestures. It's not true of all gay men - not by a long shot - but it's true of enough of them to be a stereotype.

      I have also noticed a tribal aspect to this. I knew a teenage boy who was gay and carried himself in a very butch way. When he turned 18 and started going to gay nightclubs, he acquired a lisp and flappy wrists. After a couple of years, he reverted to his previous mannerisms. I've seen this happen in a few other people. My theory is that young gay men adopt the mannerisms of their "tribe" when they come out. It creates a sense of belonging. Most gay men then learn how to "code switch": use the gay mannerisms around other gay people, and use less flamboyant mannerisms around other people. Everyone code-switches: think about how you behave around friends, around co-workers, and around family. Gay men just have an extra code in their collection.

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        One of the things I think is kind of fascinating is how much of that behavior is learned tribally, as you indicate, and expressed in ways that subvert mainstream gender policing. One of my...

        One of the things I think is kind of fascinating is how much of that behavior is learned tribally, as you indicate, and expressed in ways that subvert mainstream gender policing.

        One of my mother's best friends was the most flamboyant person I've ever met in real life. He was a locally prominent musician and entertainer, and the effeminacy was as much a part of his public act as Liberace's affectations. In private, he was occasionally catty in a just-us-girls sort of way, but otherwise what I thought of as an ordinary man (who happened to live with another man). In retrospect, he'd managed to carve out the biggest possible space in which it was relatively safe to be gay, for that time.

        As you described, one of my closest friends turns the lisp and flappy wrist affectations on and off like water from a tap. I've known him since elementary school, and those stereotypical behaviors were never displayed openly outside of gay-friendly contexts. It gets pretty cringey, though, on the occasions he uses that effeminacy for self-mocking when he's feeling depressed.

        I've known plenty of straight, cis men who were relentlessly bullied because their daily presentation was just not stereotypically masculine enough. I've been acquainted with a couple of transwomen who've told me that one of the hardest parts of transition is getting rid of all the drilled-in masculine-signalling behaviors; it's not so much a matter of learning to present feminine as learning not to act masculine.

        As others here have mentioned, there's no infallible playbook for figuring out who's straight or gay, cis or trans, just based on appearances.

        8 votes
        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I can, too. I'm not exempt from what I described. When I started going to gay clubs at 18, I noticed I was acquiring the lisp and flappy wrist. I decided I didn't like it, so I consciously stopped...

          As you described, one of my closest friends turns the lisp and flappy wrist affectations on and off like water from a tap.

          I can, too. I'm not exempt from what I described. When I started going to gay clubs at 18, I noticed I was acquiring the lisp and flappy wrist. I decided I didn't like it, so I consciously stopped it. However, I can still turn on and off the camp affectations like a pro. ;)

          4 votes
      2. [3]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Reading @shx and @soctar's responses to my question, it seems it occurs like any other behavior pattern, these two explored who they were, feeling unrestricted by who they thought they were...

        My theory is that young gay men adopt the mannerisms of their "tribe" when they come out.

        Reading @shx and @soctar's responses to my question, it seems it occurs like any other behavior pattern, these two explored who they were, feeling unrestricted by who they thought they were previously. Growing up as the western definition of heterosexual masculinity means conforming to a specific set of implied rules. Coming out as gay is at least a violation of the modern ruleset, so in a sense you're out of the game here, and more free to explore other parts of your world. Not that you need to come out as gay or anything, but I can imagine it would be a huge point at which one would experiment with finding who they are.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I'm not going to deny those people their experiences. However, I have seen young gay men who unconsciously copied the mannerisms of gay men around them, rather than consciously chose to experiment...

          Reading @shx and @soctar's responses to my question, it seems it occurs like any other behavior pattern, these two explored who they were,

          I'm not going to deny those people their experiences.

          However, I have seen young gay men who unconsciously copied the mannerisms of gay men around them, rather than consciously chose to experiment with different forms of self-expression. As well as the friend I described, and others I've seen, I also experienced this for myself. I never consciously chose to start lisping and flapping my wrists, but I noticed I had acquired these mannerisms after going to gay nightclubs. I decided I didn't like them, so I stopped it.

          Coming out as gay is at least a violation of the modern ruleset, so in a sense you're out of the game here, and more free to explore other parts of your world.

          There is that aspect. I've often said that, as gay men, we're already breaking the one major rule of masculinity. If we can break one rule... we can break others!

          4 votes
          1. soctar
            Link Parent
            I try to see things like this really empathetically. There's lots of social learning systems theory on this (Communities of Practice, Figured Worlds, Stereotype Threat, others), but most people...

            I try to see things like this really empathetically. There's lots of social learning systems theory on this (Communities of Practice, Figured Worlds, Stereotype Threat, others), but most people tend to do the thing that gives them legitimacy in the community that they want to join. Sometimes, it isn't clear what's legitimate, so we guess, and often, when we guess, we guess wrong. From reading this thread, it seems like lots of folks have this sort of pendulum -- try the new thing fully, realize some parts don't fit, and revert some parts back to what they were before. There's some behavioral change research that supports this as well, but I doubt it's situated in sexuality/gender.

            Also, I definitely wasn't socialized to be reflective on my identity. I don't know many folks that were.

            4 votes
      3. ShilohMizook
        Link Parent
        I've never met any other non-straight guys, but this theory seems correct. No one thinks I act stereotypically gay and don't know until I tell them.

        I've never met any other non-straight guys, but this theory seems correct. No one thinks I act stereotypically gay and don't know until I tell them.

        2 votes
    2. [3]
      shx
      Link Parent
      I came out as gay about a year ago, and prior to that I wasn't particularly feminine at all - monotone, boyish voice, I didn't care about fashion, etc. Since getting comfortable with being openly...

      I came out as gay about a year ago, and prior to that I wasn't particularly feminine at all - monotone, boyish voice, I didn't care about fashion, etc.

      Since getting comfortable with being openly gay, though, I've really let that whole act go to the sidelines. I painted my nails for a little bit, which was strictly reactionary - like a big FU to the closet, haha. Because my heart wasn't really in it, I stopped doing that, but I've definitely gotten way.. 'girlier' since then. I disagree with previous comments that it's to do with tribalism (I've probably spent less than a hundred hours with gay people in my life). I think it's more just that I opened my mind to the possibility of shamelessly acting a little feminine, and found it was fun. That's mostly why I do it, I think - acting girly is just a damn good time. You get to be catty and snarky and put on this little theatrical show. I also like being very non-threatening, and acting like a fruitcake really gets people's guard down.

      There are places and circumstances where I keep it hetero, of course. Job interviews obviously aren't the place for that behaviour. Frankly, I mostly only act like that when I'm with my friends.

      Anyhow, I hope that helps clear things up for you. I'm not at all offended by the question, and if you have any follow-ups, I'm happy to answer.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        knocklessmonster
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        So, you sort of came into behaving "girlier" on your own? It may speak to how rigid our gender roles are if you have to be a man when you're straight and can cut lose if you're gay. I've known...

        So, you sort of came into behaving "girlier" on your own? It may speak to how rigid our gender roles are if you have to be a man when you're straight and can cut lose if you're gay. I've known straight dudes who were a little... siwshy.

        There are places and circumstances where I keep it hetero

        Back to @algernon_asimov's code-switching. I behave differently at work than I do at home, even if it's not a huge switch. Thanks for sharing your own experience in this, as I have only previously seen speculation by straight people which should be taken carefully. I would never have thought about dudes just exploring girly activities on their own after coming out without you and @soctar.

        8 votes
        1. shx
          Link Parent
          Mhm, I reckon I agree with all of that. Anyhow, I'm glad you were able to garner a little insight from my reply!

          Mhm, I reckon I agree with all of that. Anyhow, I'm glad you were able to garner a little insight from my reply!

          3 votes
    3. [2]
      soctar
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I'd agree with @shx on this one -- for me coming out as queer (and later trans) was more of a "Oh man, I can finally do whatever I want", so I tried a bunch of stuff, loved some of it,...

      Yeah, I'd agree with @shx on this one -- for me coming out as queer (and later trans) was more of a "Oh man, I can finally do whatever I want", so I tried a bunch of stuff, loved some of it, didn't love other pieces, and moved on. It was kind of like going off to college; an opportunity for reinvention, but one where I probably wouldn't hold on to everything that I tried. The word "tribalism" doesn't feel great for me, I think it implies a lack of agency on my part. I don't think I was trying to mimic anyone; mostly just experimenting with how I presented. I think I realized that there's lots of fun and wonderful things that I wasn't really allowed to do as a cisgendered heterosexual man, and I just wanted to try some of them out.

      8 votes
      1. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        That makes some sense, I think. You came out, and didn't feel constrained by your sexuality and decided to explore who you are.

        That makes some sense, I think. You came out, and didn't feel constrained by your sexuality and decided to explore who you are.

        4 votes
    4. [4]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      You may want to elaborate what you mean by "act like women".

      You may want to elaborate what you mean by "act like women".

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        I guess more of a stereotype of a woman? Generally with a lisp, overly dramatic, lots of hand waving, generally walking more like a woman than a man, speaking more high-pitched. It's hard to...

        I guess more of a stereotype of a woman? Generally with a lisp, overly dramatic, lots of hand waving, generally walking more like a woman than a man, speaking more high-pitched. It's hard to explain , but I guess people I've met and worked with who behave a lot like Hank Azaria in The Birdcage, or Mitchell and Cameron in Modern Family, to offer some examples. Honestly, I wish I could find material that isn't comedies.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Gaywallet
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Comedies tend to over-stereotype people as hyperbole as a method of comedy. Honestly I think @algernon_asimov and @shx did a fantastic job of explaining a few of the reasons why some gay men act...

          Honestly, I wish I could find material that isn't comedies.

          Comedies tend to over-stereotype people as hyperbole as a method of comedy.

          Honestly I think @algernon_asimov and @shx did a fantastic job of explaining a few of the reasons why some gay men act in the manner you are describing. I don't have much to add here, other than to stress that these are only some of the reasons that someone may choose to act in this manner. One could easily ask the same question of hetero males and behavior getting into violent altercations, liking guns, acting macho, escalating things to physical violence, obsessive and overt posturing, and so on.

          3 votes
          1. knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            That's actually a good way of breaking it down, but even if I don't understand this as well, it makes sense that there are external and internal reasons for any behavior. I was just curious if...

            One could easily ask the same question of hetero males and behavior getting into violent altercations, liking guns, acting macho, escalating things to physical violence, obsessive and overt posturing, and so on.

            That's actually a good way of breaking it down, but even if I don't understand this as well, it makes sense that there are external and internal reasons for any behavior. I was just curious if there was an external reason, which @Algernon_Asimov answered well.

            5 votes
  19. [5]
    cwagner
    Link
    Not sure if this fully fits, but I’ll run with it anyway: Why do (nominally straight) women seem to be more bisexual than (nominally straight) men? Is it purely cultural, as men kissing is seen...

    Not sure if this fully fits, but I’ll run with it anyway:

    Why do (nominally straight) women seem to be more bisexual than (nominally straight) men?

    Is it purely cultural, as men kissing is seen (by people who are some degree of homophobic) as more disgusting than women kissing? How does it jive with the Southern and Eastern European cultures where kissing friends on the cheek is a normal greeting?

    Pretty much every girlfriend I ever had, had at least some interest in women. But I could not be with someone with a penis, mainly because I find penises pretty disgusting (including my own; no degree of gender dysphoria though), on the other hand I’ve never had a problem with kissing men for fun (happened a few times when I frequented a gay bar and as well when I was younger) and certainly don’t have any other problem with any sex or orientation.

    There’s only one woman (excluding older people) I know who can’t stand the thought of being with another woman (no problem with gay people in general, just a reversal of the usual, she loves gay men).

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Cleb
      Link Parent
      In my experience growing up where I did in America at least, being a man who shows interest in another man is something that generally attracts more outright hostility than for women. There's a...

      In my experience growing up where I did in America at least, being a man who shows interest in another man is something that generally attracts more outright hostility than for women. There's a lot of internalized homophobia and toxic masculinity that gets hammered into your brain as a child and teen. Church sermons, passive "jokes" that your friends learned from their parents or somewhere else that are just "haha you did (thing), you're gay", derision at men who do things seen as a "gay thing" ie: having a lisp, walking with a different gait, liking traditionally feminine things like perfume or nailcare, growing your hair past a certain length. Men here are also very much not affectionate or compliment-friendly, it is often seen as a weird thing to tell your other guy friend that you like the stuff he's wearing today or you think his hair looks nice or you ask if you can have a hug. This all ends up playing into a development of a fear of expressing any kind of positive feeling for fellow men in a way that could be perceived as romantic or sexual attraction. I'd imagine that a lot of guys who believe themselves to be completely straight have a degree of internalized homophobia from experiences growing up and they carry that into adulthood. Hell, I still catch myself hesitating and having gross feelings bubble up when I read a question like "do you believe gay people should be able to be married?" and I've been out as queer to my friends on the internet for several years at this point. This stuff runs deep.

      Can't comment on the reverse side, as I didn't grow up in the girls' spaces. Just noticed more outright bullying and public hostility towards gay and bi men compared to a more passive and objectifying (although still disgusting and abhorrent) treatment of gay and bi women. Like getting beaten up or having a slur sprayed on your locker vs getting catcalled and "Hey baby, I can make you turn straight again." verbal harassment.

      My personal experience, growing up as someone seen as a guy in a conservative + religious area of America. There are probably others here who can phrase things I said here in a better way and go even deeper with it.

      14 votes
      1. cwagner
        Link Parent
        Yeah, that’s what I meant, far less eloquently described, with "cultural". Thank you. Funny thing, the only male who ever told me they like what I’m wearing was a straight American ;) Wow, that is...

        Yeah, that’s what I meant, far less eloquently described, with "cultural". Thank you.

        Men here are also very much not affectionate or compliment-friendly, it is often seen as a weird thing to tell your other guy friend that you like the stuff he's wearing today

        Funny thing, the only male who ever told me they like what I’m wearing was a straight American ;)

        Hell, I still catch myself hesitating and having gross feelings bubble up when I read a question like "do you believe gay people should be able to be married?" and I've been out as queer to my friends on the internet for several years at this point.

        Wow, that is crazy. I was utterly outraged when I found out a few years ago that our gay marriage in Germany is not equal to a normal marriage (IIRC they fixed that finally). I never fail to be surprised by how crazy US American conservatism is.

        5 votes
    2. [2]
      patience_limited
      Link Parent
      I don't think you need to look for elaborate explanations from gender studies or sociobiology or evolutionary psychology (or whatever that branch of pseudoscience is being called these days). Sex...

      I don't think you need to look for elaborate explanations from gender studies or sociobiology or evolutionary psychology (or whatever that branch of pseudoscience is being called these days).

      Sex with men is just less safe, in so many respects, than sex with other women - more risk of violence, more risk of disease, more risk of lifelong reputational damage from sheer societal power imbalance, not to mention the absolute difference in risk of pregnancy. I haven't looked up numbers recently, but the risk excess in addition to pregnancy seems to apply broadly across cultures.

      I'm going to provide anecdata, on the basis of one person's experience filtered through the prism of discovering sex right when HIV infection was widely regarded as a rapid, horrible death sentence.

      In my circle of friends and acquaintances, many of us were in one big puppy-pile all happily basking in the joys of playing with each other, largely regardless of gender. A couple of the guys had visited San Francisco to explore the bath house circuit (this was somewhere around 1984-5), and we all scrambled to get tested, in a state of perpetual panic thereafter. Most of the women preferentially sorted into couples with other women because they were deathly afraid of infection; the remainder settled into monogamous relationships with men. The local lesbian organization was touting that all we needed was dental dams to be safe with other women. [In retrospect, their smugness about this was sickening, but as I mentioned elsewhere, this was a time and place where separatism was running rampant in a way that gave birth to TERFs; there was active opposition to any kind of allyship.]

      As a matter of pure speculation, I'd guess that hygiene panics have been recurring features in cultures everywhere throughout history, and that men have internalized the fear of potentially dangerous contact with infection as much as women have.

      11 votes
      1. cwagner
        Link Parent
        Interesting. I’ve only been born in 86, so the whole HIV panic was before me. I think your whole story actually explains a lot, that with culture and even this reinforcing cultural problems would...

        Interesting. I’ve only been born in 86, so the whole HIV panic was before me.

        I think your whole story actually explains a lot, that with culture and even this reinforcing cultural problems would really explain a lot. Thank you!

        PS: Terf: trans-exclusionary radical feminist

        3 votes
  20. [4]
    oscillot
    Link
    Hey. I don't think there's one correct answer for this but it's a conversation I want to start. What are some genderless ways of respectfully addressing people? When I worked in the service...

    Hey. I don't think there's one correct answer for this but it's a conversation I want to start. What are some genderless ways of respectfully addressing people? When I worked in the service industry I would use "Sir" and "Ma'am" all the time. They are fading away and feeling older and stuffier but there's still situations like "Sir/Ma'am, excuse me, you dropped this." I want my first (and possibly only) interactions with people to be inclusive so when taking that sort of deferential tone, what are some better strategies for formally addressing those who you may not know by name?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I've seen this question get asked quite a lot, and I've done some research... and, as far as I have found, there are no gender-neutral honorifics to complement "Sir" and "Madam". Do you need one,...

      I've seen this question get asked quite a lot, and I've done some research... and, as far as I have found, there are no gender-neutral honorifics to complement "Sir" and "Madam".

      Do you need one, though? Do you need to say "excuse me, sir, you dropped this"? You could just as well say "excuse me, you dropped this". It's not like the "sir" serves an essential function. At best, it narrows down your potential audience by about half (any women in earshot are unlikely to turn around). Otherwise, it's just a mostly meaningless placeholder.

      You say you want to be deferential, but that attitude is carried much more by the tone of your voice than the word "sir" or "madam". You can even make honorifics sound like an insult with the right tone of voice. Just use a deferential tone of voice if you want to be respectful to a stranger.

      10 votes
      1. oscillot
        Link Parent
        That makes perfect sense. The fact that there's no gender neutral honorific further drives home that it's not actually necessary. Thank you, it seems so obvious in hindsight but I just couldn't...

        That makes perfect sense. The fact that there's no gender neutral honorific further drives home that it's not actually necessary. Thank you, it seems so obvious in hindsight but I just couldn't see my way to it on my own.

        8 votes
    2. emdash
      Link Parent
      Haha. For me as a cis-male at least, "sir" is fine—frankly it just exudes politeness to me. So I'm okay with it. But I definitely don't identify with the term "man". At most I'll do "guy",...

      Haha. For me as a cis-male at least, "sir" is fine—frankly it just exudes politeness to me. So I'm okay with it. But I definitely don't identify with the term "man". At most I'll do "guy", although I still associate most with the term "boy". All of this is not to say I'm effeminate (although I'm certainly not masculine). I don't know, maybe I'm just trying to desperately hold onto being a young person 😆.

      If you're really not sure and want to be extra-cautious, I guess you can just lead with "Excuse me, you dropped this!"—don't have to make a direct reference at all.

      5 votes
  21. [3]
    krg
    Link
    There are already so many questions and responses in this thread, so sorry if this has already been dealt with, but.... Hookup culture, particularly with gay men.. is that really a thing? I mean,...

    There are already so many questions and responses in this thread, so sorry if this has already been dealt with, but....

    Hookup culture, particularly with gay men.. is that really a thing? I mean, I'm kinda envious if it is. No-strings-attached sexual encounters seem like a win, to me (if everyone is having a good time.) But, is it as pervasive as it's made out to be?

    6 votes
    1. CALICO
      Link Parent
      In my experience, yes. While the majority of my lasting relationships have been with straight, cis-women, the vast majority of my fleeting relationships have been with queer folk. That's not for...

      In my experience, yes.

      While the majority of my lasting relationships have been with straight, cis-women, the vast majority of my fleeting relationships have been with queer folk.
      That's not for neglect of things like Tinder (back when it was more of a hookup app than a dating one), or going out to the bar or club. It's just easier to have an NSA encounter going out to a gay bar, or booting up Grindr. In my experience, I can open Grindr in any major metropolitan area in the world* and have somebody over quicker than I could have a pizza delivered. While the majority of people utilizing the service are m4m, there's plenty of trans-men and trans-women on there as well.

      It's both a good thing, and a bad thing.

      I dream of a world where horny people of all sex & gender varieties can get together without shame. In this respect, hookup culture among LGBT is really nice. Though, of course, there are plenty of queer folk who aren't into hookups at all.

      It's bad for a few reasons.

      • There's a higher risk of STDs. Even if I do everything right, there's no guarantee they are.

      • A lot of the people—not all, but a lot—seem to be closeted or repressed people taking what they can get. It's not difficult to find a married man cheating on his wife, or a young person just trying to connect with somebody, anybody.

      • Sometimes you end up meeting somebody who you really click with, have a great time with, and it can't be anything more than a hookup. I guess that's more of a personal problem than a flaw in hookup culture tho.

      I think maybe queer hookup culture might be driven by scarcity, rather than us being more horny or sexually-progressive tho. But that's a guess.

      * I travel a lot, but I haven't been everywhere. Also, some places use different apps with the same principle.

      9 votes
    2. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      umm... Yes. Very much so. So very very much so. Whatever you've heard is only the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of casual and/or anonymous sex happening out there that gay men never ever tell...

      Hookup culture, particularly with gay men.. is that really a thing?

      umm... Yes. Very much so. So very very much so. Whatever you've heard is only the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of casual and/or anonymous sex happening out there that gay men never ever tell to "nice" people. It's everywhere, bubbling just below the surface of civilised gay life.

      For all of my sexual life, there have been ways and means to get sex quickly, easily, and anonymously if I so desire. The ways and means have changed over time, but they've always been there. If I had the inclination right now, there are at least three different methods by which I could be having sex within an hour - some methods involving people I know, some methods involving total strangers, some using technology, some not.

      My own experiences go back only as far as the 1980s, but I've seen historical evidence of casual gay sex going back decades, if not centuries, before that. This culture of casual sex among gay men and MSM more generally has been around forever.

      8 votes
  22. [21]
    minimaltyp0s
    Link
    Douglas Murray wrote in The Madness of Crowds about how the "teaming up" of "L, "G", "B", and "T" is an odd, broadly incongruent thing. He went on to explain some "why's" - the one that stuck in...

    Douglas Murray wrote in The Madness of Crowds about how the "teaming up" of "L, "G", "B", and "T" is an odd, broadly incongruent thing. He went on to explain some "why's" - the one that stuck in my mind (probably because I didn't previously actually know the difference) was "Q" and "G" - and how the queer community's aims are not shared by the gay community and vice versa (I appreciate this is all in incredibly broad strokes).

    Since this was in a book there was no real means of testing or questioning what he said, and since it's potentially incendiary it's not something I'd be comfortable asking people that I know, so:

    How real are the divisions Murray wrote about? Do they matter? How much of an actual "group" is it beyond a convenient collective noun anyway? Have there been any real bust-ups/disagreements inside the community?

    5 votes
    1. [10]
      kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There are definitely some people who want to fracture the LGBT umbrella. I've heard people arguing that we should jettison the T, with some arguments rooted in outright transphobia and others...

      There are definitely some people who want to fracture the LGBT umbrella. I've heard people arguing that we should jettison the T, with some arguments rooted in outright transphobia and others coming from a neutral perspective questioning a perceived inconsistency (i.e. L, G, and B focus on sexual orientation while T focuses on gender identity). I've heard people talk about how odd it is that lesbians and gay guys are paired up, when they share neither a common gender nor common sexual/romantic interests. I've heard people talk about how the B shouldn't be included because they have the option to pass as heterosexual and therefore can benefit from privilege inaccessible to others. If we look at the extended acronym, there are dozens more arguments to be had, each of which is focused on identifying the "correct" delineation for which ingredients should get included in the stew and which ones should get left out on the counter.

      Exclusionary viewpoints such as these exist, though I would argue that they are rare, often given outsize influence due to their ability to spark conflict, and not widely accepted. In fact, many times I've heard them from non-LGBT people online, whose critiques of our community can range from overbearingly paternalistic to genuinely concerned about proper taxonomy.

      I get that, on paper, the LGBT conglomeration can seem an odd collection of disparate identities. In practice, however, there is genuine cohesion, particularly because there is a very large crossover between gender identity and sexual orientation from a societal perspective. In fact, it's only recently that we started strongly differentiating out "gender" from "sexuality". The overlap between the two becomes much more apparent if we instead roll back to the previously widespread terms of "sex" and "sexuality."

      For example, when I was growing up, my first introduction to what being "gay" meant had nothing to do with sexuality and everything to do with gender expression. "Gay" meant acting in unmanly ways, and that expression allegedly revealed something about someone's sexuality. I knew that being gay was "bad" long before I actually knew what being gay technically meant. That said, even sexuality wasn't immune from gendered criticism, because a long-standing prejudice against gay male sexuality has been that a man is "taking the role of a woman".

      The overlap of sex and sexuality is pretty much the uniting force that makes up our queer alphabet Pangaea. No matter our particular letter, we've all experienced discrimination and, sadly, likely trauma from transgressing the widely held societal standards regarding acceptable gender expression and sexuality. This is definitely changing, and it warms my heart to see LGBT kids growing up without oppression being the primary driver of their identity, but I can't ignore that it was the fire that forged us and pushed us together.

      As conditions have improved for LGBT people and society has become more accepting, the societal pressure that once pushed us into extreme cohesion has lessened. I see a lot more fractious conversations about the LGBT community now than I once did, as identity itself, rather than participation, seems to be given more of a premium. In some ways I see this as a growing pain. People now have the luxury of choosing their compatriots in the LGBT landscape, rather than eagerly taking any and all support regardless of the source. Our understanding of gender and sexuality has come a long way, and more and more people can adequately distinguish that, say, not all gay men are swishy and effeminate and, more importantly, those that are shouldn't be judged negatively for such expression anyway. I can see how better understanding and a more liberated society could find better lines and paths than those that came before. This kind of thing could cause the tectonic plates carrying our different identities to start to drift apart, bit by bit. Our supercontinent might eventually split up.

      I don't think it will though, because the other important component of this is history. Independent of any lofty intellectualizing about the nature of our experiences, there are our experiences themselves. The Stonewall riots were considered the beginning of the gay liberation movement, and who carried them out? Butch lesbians, effeminate young men, drag queens, male prostitutes, transgender people, and homeless youth. It's not that these individuals all shared an identity, but they all shared an experience. They were outcasts, maligned for who they were, and seeking refuge in those who chose to meet them with kindness rather than condemnation.

      Speaking from my own experience, I joined an LGBT community organization in a very conservative area when I was younger. We had lots of different people of varying identities, and the idea of fracturing us along those lines never even crossed our minds because we were all pretty much just clinging to each other for survival. It didn't matter whether the person next to me was trans or bi or genderqueer or just kinky; all that mattered was that they were next to me rather than opposed to me. Any port in a storm! The makeup of our group wasn't determined by an identity census and "proper" vetting of queerness but by de facto membership based solely on the desire to be part of us in the first place. No one was joining our group accidentally or without significant forethought, and everyone who was there was someone we welcomed them with open arms, knowing how important that same courtesy felt to us. We had several straight members, and I never once heard any opposition to their inclusion based on their identities. In a culture of severe oppression, we were happy to have any support from any source, and we weren't about to cast someone out, knowing what lay in wait for them outside the safety of our community.

      I've shared elsewhere in this thread that I like the umbrella term "queer" over the acronym "LGBT" because I feel it more directly captures that our union is more than the sum of its parts. "LGBT" treats us like we're compartmentalized. It implicitly begs the question of what overarching quality, if any, we share. Sure it shows us standing side by side, but it also calls attention to the separations between us. It highlights that we're, seemingly, fundamentally different. "Queer", on the other hand, carves out a single space for us. Whether it's something that we identify as, something we feel, or something we do, it lets us operate and organize under one roof, on equal footing, and with space for all. I use "LGBT" as a linguistic stand-in for "queer" because the Tildes community prefers it, and I think it has its recognizable advantages, but when I talk about our community, "queer" captures the intangibles for me better than "LGBT" ever can.

      While I certainly can't speak for all other LGBT people, this idea of unity and community support is much of our lifeblood, regardless of which label its given. Togetherness and connecting with others are part and parcel of who we are, and I would say these likely far outweigh the divisive conversations about who should or shouldn't have the keys to our kingdom. I don't know that things will stay this way in the future, but right now I think values of unity and inclusion are still given a premium, at least among a lot of the queer individuals I know.

      12 votes
      1. patience_limited
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        You've made a very important point, I think, about the solidarity aspects of the inclusive acronym or "queer" label. As to the divisions, IHSTSB ["I Have Seen This Shit Before"], with respect to...

        While I certainly can't speak for all other LGBT people, this idea of unity and community support is much of our lifeblood, regardless of which label its given. Togetherness and connecting with others are part and parcel of who we are, and I would say these likely far outweigh the divisive conversations about who should or shouldn't have the keys to our kingdom. I don't know that things will stay this way in the future, but right now I think values of unity and inclusion are still given a premium, at least among a lot of the queer individuals I know.

        You've made a very important point, I think, about the solidarity aspects of the inclusive acronym or "queer" label. As to the divisions, IHSTSB ["I Have Seen This Shit Before"], with respect to separatism and TERF'ing. From the standpoints of politics and culture, building the strongest possible "we" is essential to creating momentum for change. "We" is solidarity power.

        That solidarity power is so dangerous to established hierarchies that collective political movements throughout history have been deliberately fragmented to reduce the threat, as with American labor's exclusion of women and people of color; conservative "feminists" excluding lesbians and transwomen; or the Russian oligarchy's attacks on the burgeoning LGBTQI movement.

        There's always the possibility for a movement community to fragment in a "purity spiral"; I think there's a natural human tendency to protect one's own interests, prejudices, vulnerabilities, and power at the expense of community good. But it's so easy for external forces, like trolls and propagandists, to encourage that fragmentation. Most recently, I found some signs of organized Russian trolling activity in amplifying the Twitter attacks on ContraPoints. Evidently, she was viewed as an effective enough educator and LGBTQI movement figure that she had to be silenced or discredited using the moral purity wedge.

        There are themes of old-school leftist discourse that still influence my thinking about what "solidarity" means for queer people.

        9 votes
      2. [8]
        Algernon_Asimov
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If you (or anyone else) are interested, these people now have a subreddit over on Reddit: /r/LGBDropTheT. As you rightly point out, it's a mixture of neutrality and transphobia (but transphobia...

        I've heard people arguing that we should jettison the T, with some arguments rooted in outright transphobia and others coming from a neutral perspective questioning a perceived inconsistency (i.e. L, G, and B focus on sexual orientation while T focuses on gender identity).

        If you (or anyone else) are interested, these people now have a subreddit over on Reddit: /r/LGBDropTheT. As you rightly point out, it's a mixture of neutrality and transphobia (but transphobia seems to be more common).

        It's not that these individuals all shared an identity, but they all shared an experience. They were outcasts, maligned for who they were, and seeking refuge in those who chose to meet them with kindness rather than condemnation.

        Right there lies the core of the rainbow community, exposed for all to see: we all are, or have been, outcasts in one way or another.

        EDIT: I mis-typed the subreddit name.

        3 votes
        1. [7]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Ugh. That subreddit is such an unpleasant surprise. So much rampant hatred. It hurts my heart to read it. This is not a criticism of you posting it. It's definitely relevant to the original...

          Ugh. That subreddit is such an unpleasant surprise. So much rampant hatred. It hurts my heart to read it.

          This is not a criticism of you posting it. It's definitely relevant to the original question and my comment. It's just that seeing their posts hit me particularly hard. This Tildes thread has been such a wonderful, affirming high point for me. I'm continually inspired by it. To then shift from something I find so wonderful and meaningful to something so rooted in prejudice and discrimination... I don't have words for how that hits my soul. They're darkening our beautiful rainbow.

          8 votes
          1. [5]
            Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            If it helps there's a pretty good chance that a lot of these individuals are not actually queer at all, and are faking it in an attempt to divide the community. This is a fairly common tactic as...

            If it helps there's a pretty good chance that a lot of these individuals are not actually queer at all, and are faking it in an attempt to divide the community. This is a fairly common tactic as of late by the far right. They'll sometimes even make up entire stories about how they transitioned and now regret it.

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              Algernon_Asimov
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I'm heavily involved in the gay subreddits. I've observed that many of those people are actually lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. We don't get to write them off as intruders. There may be some...

              If it helps there's a pretty good chance that a lot of these individuals are not actually queer at all, and are faking it in an attempt to divide the community.

              I'm heavily involved in the gay subreddits. I've observed that many of those people are actually lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. We don't get to write them off as intruders. There may be some agents provocateurs in the mix, but they're not the majority. The majority are real LGB people. We're not exempt from hatred and prejudice.

              4 votes
              1. [3]
                Gaywallet
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Yeah, hence the wording "some". Unfortunately there will always be bad actors. Fortunately I've never actually experienced this in real life. I've heard about some older lesbian TERFs, for...

                Yeah, hence the wording "some". Unfortunately there will always be bad actors. Fortunately I've never actually experienced this in real life. I've heard about some older lesbian TERFs, for example, but I've yet to see transphobic queers or hear of anyone with IRL interactions with them. Then again, I'm also in one of the most queer friendly and liberal places on the planet, so people tend to be a bit nicer.

                4 votes
                1. patience_limited
                  Link Parent
                  My version of IHSTSB comes from that older lesbian TERF front, i.e. the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival wars of the mid-1980's. Some of that came from the ideological devolution of second-wave...

                  My version of IHSTSB comes from that older lesbian TERF front, i.e. the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival wars of the mid-1980's. Some of that came from the ideological devolution of second-wave feminism, where all born-men were enemies and all porn was rooted in violence against women.

                  There really were queer people (including transmen) in that community who were adamantly opposed to including transwomen, on the grounds that they were ineradicably tainted by patriarchy. I'm seeing some of the same arguments being made now, and it breaks my heart that we have to re-learn how destructive these messages are.

                  6 votes
                2. Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  Actually, you used "a lot" - which is what triggered me to reply. If you'd used "some", I would have agreed and said nothing. Nor have I. However, I'm not a transgender person, so I'm very...

                  Yeah, hence the wording "some".

                  Actually, you used "a lot" - which is what triggered me to reply. If you'd used "some", I would have agreed and said nothing.

                  Fortunately I've never actually experienced this in real life.

                  Nor have I. However, I'm not a transgender person, so I'm very unlikely to be on the receiving end of transphobic exclusion.

                  3 votes
          2. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Sorry to kill the buzz, but I thought people should see what's festering in the midst of our rainbow community. Also, these views aren't quite as rare as you might think. If history is anything to...

            Sorry to kill the buzz, but I thought people should see what's festering in the midst of our rainbow community. Also, these views aren't quite as rare as you might think.

            If history is anything to go by, the fact that these people have a subreddit to congregate in will empower and motivate them, just like happened in /r/CoonTown, /r/Incels, /r/The_Donald, and other hate subreddits before them. When these people get to reinforce their beliefs among other believers, they raise each other to new heights (or depths, depending on your point of view).

            4 votes
    2. Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I probably should have done this before I wrote my previous comment, but I decided to investigate this book you mention. While the write-up on Good Reads praises this book highly, Wikipedia...

      I probably should have done this before I wrote my previous comment, but I decided to investigate this book you mention.

      While the write-up on Good Reads praises this book highly, Wikipedia provides a different view. And reading positive and negative reviews of this book is quite illuminating. So is looking at the type of people who praise this book.

      It's a book by a right-wing conservative who doesn't agree with "identity politics", and he's doing what he can to criticise the various movements for equality and recognition.

      In that context, I would view anything he says with a healthy dose of skepticism. He does not have LGBT+ people's best interests at heart, so anything he writes about us is going to emphasise the negative aspects of the LGBT+ community and movement, and downplay the positive aspects.

      8 votes
    3. [9]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      This is an interesting viewpoint. The phrase "queer community" is usually considered synonymous with "LGBT+ community": it's an umbrella term for all the various sexuality and gender-diverse...

      how the queer community's aims are not shared by the gay community

      This is an interesting viewpoint. The phrase "queer community" is usually considered synonymous with "LGBT+ community": it's an umbrella term for all the various sexuality and gender-diverse groups (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, etc). So, the gay community is a subset of the queer community, rather than being separate. I'm therefore surprised that someone thinks the queer community, which includes gay people, supposedly has different aims than the gay community.

      He's right that gay men's aims might not be identical with transgender people's aims. The problems that people of different sexualities face are not necessarily the same problems that people of different gender identities face. However, that doesn't mean we can't work together. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." We're all facing similar discrimination based on the fact that we're different to the expected straight cisgender norm. We can all work together to fight that discrimination.

      And, in that context, "LGBT+" is a very convenient collective noun: here are all the people who have been outcast because they don't fit the norm of sexuality or gender.

      Have there been any real bust-ups/disagreements inside the community?

      I haven't really studied a lot about the history of LGBT political and activist movements, but I did stumble across an interesting tidbit recently.

      In the early days of Gay Liberation (early 1970s), a prominent gay activist group split into two new groups: one group wanted to espouse a whole new sexual dynamic for gay men which included polyamory and open sexuality, while another group wanted to embrace the norm of marriage and monogamy. That wasn't lesbians versus gay men, or transgender people versus gay men; that was gay men versus gay men. It just proves we're not a monolithic group, and never were.

      7 votes
      1. [8]
        Tygrak
        Link Parent
        I am sorry if I misinterpreted your comment in a different thread a bit that I read here (it also might not have been your comment, and if so I am sorry), but I think you talked about aces not...

        I am sorry if I misinterpreted your comment in a different thread a bit that I read here (it also might not have been your comment, and if so I am sorry), but I think you talked about aces not really belonging in the LGBT community. I was wondering why if I think they fit pretty well into the umbrella term for various sexualities and gender-diverse groups.

        Edit: I found the comment, and it was made by @meme and you said that you agree with what they said, maybe they can reply too? Comment link

        1 vote
        1. [7]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I already said "I 100% agree with this, and with everything else [she has] said here" - and in that reply of mine, I quoted what I felt was the core point: Anything I would write for you would...

          I already said "I 100% agree with this, and with everything else [she has] said here" - and in that reply of mine, I quoted what I felt was the core point:

          However what historically binds the LGBT community is homophobia and transphobia - nothing more and nothing less.

          Anything I would write for you would just be paraphrasing this comment by @meme. She's already said it for me. That's why I restricted myself to just saying I agree with her.

          I would add one different angle. You've said that LGBT is "the umbrella term for various sexualities and gender-diverse groups". However, asexuality is a lack of sexuality. An analogy would be atheism which is a lack of religion. An umbrella group for all religions, like a multi-faith organisation, would not include atheists because they don't have a religion. Similarly, an umbrella group for all sexualities, like the LGBT community, would not include asexuals because they don't have a sexuality.

          3 votes
          1. [6]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            What are your thoughts on, say, homo-, bi-, or pan-romantic asexuals being included under the umbrella? Would you include them on account of their romantic interests paralleling those of gay, bi-,...

            What are your thoughts on, say, homo-, bi-, or pan-romantic asexuals being included under the umbrella? Would you include them on account of their romantic interests paralleling those of gay, bi-, or pansexual people?

            4 votes
            1. [5]
              Algernon_Asimov
              Link Parent
              If they're not straight, they're in. If they're straight, they're out. It's a very simple line for me.

              If they're not straight, they're in. If they're straight, they're out. It's a very simple line for me.

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                Tygrak
                Link Parent
                I am not sure if the second angle works too well, for example would agender people not be a part of LGBT because they lack gender? I am also not sure that asexuals don't have a sexuality, I am...

                I am not sure if the second angle works too well, for example would agender people not be a part of LGBT because they lack gender? I am also not sure that asexuals don't have a sexuality, I am pretty sure the sexuality asexuals have is that they are (almost) not sexually attracted to any gender. You might say it's almost like the opposite of bi/pansexuality.

                I think in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter if asexuals are part of the LGBT community. As you said, most of the time asexual people don't face too many problems or discrimination similar to homophobia and transphobia. You are right, nobody is stopping people from not having sex :D. They can just get a lot of ignorance if they choose to talk about asexuality with other people. It isn't too hard to live life as asexual without talking about it too much, kind of being in the closet. But I also don't really see why they wouldn't be, especially by most definitions people use.

                I still think this argument is flawed too. Would people that don't experience homophobia or transphobia be a part of the LGBT community? For example a bisexual person, in a heterosexual relationship?

                5 votes
                1. [2]
                  tindall
                  Link Parent
                  I'm not asexual myself, but I have two asexual friends in particular, neither of whom are "out" to their families in any kind of formal way, who have found themselves at the center of some pretty...

                  You are right, nobody is stopping people from not having sex

                  I'm not asexual myself, but I have two asexual friends in particular, neither of whom are "out" to their families in any kind of formal way, who have found themselves at the center of some pretty brutal verbal and emotional abuse from their devoutly Catholic families who feel that it is their duty as women to marry and have children.

                  It's true that nobody is technically forcing them to have sex, as (thankfully) nobody is forcing me to present as a man or, as a woman, to have sex with men; but there is a pretty strong social stigma around not doing that, especially when that means (as it does for many) not building a family that heterosexual society recognizes as real or valid.

                  This is where my dislike of the kind of rhetoric @Algernon_Asimov mentions comes from. This treatment of asexual and especially aromantic is similar - not the same, but similar - to the kind of harassment and abuse I got when people thought I was a gay man, and in a similar vein to the kind of crap I get from my family for going through treatment that ended up sterilizing me (though, thankfully, to a lesser extent for me). Most importantly, it comes from the same source - heteronormativity.

                  Both of the ace friends I'm referring to benefit greatly from LGBT support programmes and social groups, and (just as important, to me) share a lot of the humor, culture (see my comment about reverse diasporization), and political alignments (away from the fetishization of the nuclear family, towards a society with reduced gender roles, etc) as other LGBT people, including myself.

                  Of course there are asexual people who don't feel the force of society's heteronormativity and compulsory heterosexuality, but there are many who do. I don't see the advantage to telling them that this culture we've been building for the last eighty years, which is so aligned with their goals and needs, isn't for them.

                  6 votes
                  1. Tygrak
                    Link Parent
                    Thank you. I identify as demisexual or gray-asexual or something like that on the asexuality spectrum, don't really have it figured out fully for myself. Basically, I don't want to have sex at...

                    Thank you.

                    I identify as demisexual or gray-asexual or something like that on the asexuality spectrum, don't really have it figured out fully for myself. Basically, I don't want to have sex at all, I don't feel any need to have it, I just think there's a chance I could still enjoy sex if I had a perfect relationship. I definitely feel there are a lot of annoying problems aces can face. I have read so many stories of people that went to a therapist, who when they heard about their patient being asexual immediately wanted to start treating them for hormonal imbalance or some similar shit. There are also many stories of asexuals who were raped, by people who were trying to "fix" them by doing this. Luckily, most of the time the problems aren't as bad as some other LGBT people can have, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

                    I am pretty sure most people would consider aces to be part of the LGBT community, considering some people even use the LGBTQIA initialism and nobody is stopping aces from going for example to pride parades.

                    7 votes
                2. meme
                  Link Parent
                  Replying very late here, but I don't agree with this argument necessarily. Bisexual people experience homophobia and biphobia (which I consider a specific kind of homophobia) sometimes even when...

                  Would people that don't experience homophobia or transphobia be a part of the LGBT community? For example a bisexual person, in a heterosexual relationship?

                  Replying very late here, but I don't agree with this argument necessarily. Bisexual people experience homophobia and biphobia (which I consider a specific kind of homophobia) sometimes even when they ARE in heterosexual relationships.

                  All gay and bi people have the common experience of having to grapple with what their same sex desire means in a world that is not always accepting of such desire. Even if a bisexual person is 100% closeted they will still have had this internal experience - not to mention closeting is an oppressive experience in of itself. So long as homophobia exists, gay people and bi people experience it whether we've had a gay relationship or not.

                  Honestly though, this raises an interesting question: what can the LGBT community mean to bi people who have only ever had straight sex/relationships, and only want straight sex/relationships? (Assuming this is due to reasons of having a weak same sex attraction, vs due to reasons of fear and stigma). While I do believe such people are still bisexual, I'm not sure what exactly they want from the community or how it could serve them. In my own personal experience there are occasionally this type of bi people that engage inappropriately in LGBT spaces. Or perhaps they use their own status as a bisexual as a shield from criticism for their own harmful actions. An example in the news is Jameela Jamil coming out as bisexual after being criticized for hosting a show about ball culture. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Jameela stan but she would have done better to accept the criticism with grace). Another example that is a personal pet peeve of mine is when bi women with a preference for men seek out wlw venting spaces where they complain about straight people or men, and then only engage with the space to talk about how awesome straight people and men are.

                  But to get back to the topic of asexuality, heteroromantic aces are het. Aro aces are not. So for this reason, I can see the argument about aro aces being effected by heteronormativity. Like if you take my definition of the LGBT community as being "effected by homophobia and transphobia" and instead change it to "people who are not straight or not cis", then aro aces fit.

                  I don't think heteroromantic aces are affected by heteronormativity in a truly meaningful way. I will once again bring up other non-standard types of het people: het poly people, het furries, het BDSM practitioners, etc, as an example of people who might be negatively effected by "heteronormativity" while still functionally being a part of it.

                  History and subculture of course play a big part in why groups organize the way they do. Culturally and historically, cishet aces have not been and are not part of LGBT subgroups. There is no one LGBT community imo, it's really more like several overlapping ones based on where and how they gather. For the wlw community specifically, a het ace woman has no reason to be there, and they're generally not wanting or trying to join. Even for aro ace people, what communities do they want to frequent and how? All groups geared towards the greater LGBT community have to be focused around something. Like a university's LGBT club is focused around that university. You must actively participate in a specific community to be a part of it. Just because someone may passively exist as an aro ace person, does not mean they have been part of any specific communities. Of course, ace people can, do, and should participate in LGBTQIA+ communities that have been built around including them. This is why I was talking about the inclu/exclu split. I have found that the inclusive spaces that are built to include ace and poly people and those kinds of sexualities just don't really serve my needs.

                  I'm sorry that was so much typing, I had read the whole chain of conversation so was responding to many different parts of it. Thank you for reading my word vomit because it was A LOT.

                  5 votes
  23. [8]
    wundumguy
    Link
    First off, just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm all about equal rights for gay folks. I vote for gays, I support gays, am friends with gays, etc. So know that I'm coming at this from a...

    First off, just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm all about equal rights for gay folks. I vote for gays, I support gays, am friends with gays, etc. So know that I'm coming at this from a curious, non-offensive angle, and I apologize in advance if the words themselves do not seem that way.

    I believe a person is born gay, and then further influenced by their environment that can either help them be more gay or less gay. Would you agree with that? If so, how much do you think a person's environment can move the needle?

    Since it's a spectrum, I imagine there's plenty of people born that could probably have been happy either way (bi, or a little bit shifted either direction towards gay/straight), but ended up leaning towards being straight or gay because of their environment. I'm wondering what you think, or if I'm totally off base and shouldn't ever bring this up again.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      Hey there! So there's nothing wrong with your question, but I just want to give you a heads-up on how this comes off. I read this and showed it to another Gay, and we both had a similar reaction:...

      First off, just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm all about equal rights for gay folks. I vote for gays, I support gays, am friends with gays, etc. So know that I'm coming at this from a curious, non-offensive angle, and I apologize in advance if the words themselves do not seem that way.

      Hey there! So there's nothing wrong with your question, but I just want to give you a heads-up on how this comes off. I read this and showed it to another Gay, and we both had a similar reaction: a deep breath, ready to read some seriously homophobic shit. Just a tense moment of "here it comes..." Your comment was actually pretty shocking because it didn't turn out to be an offensive question attempting to pose as a respectable one! It's just a perfectly decent question that looks like it may well lead to good discussion.

      I mention this not to give you shit for your wording, but because I'm guessing this wasn't the effect you intended your introduction there to have. It clearly is coming from a good place in your case, but the language you're using has been heavily abused by homophobes speaking in bad faith, and will carry that connotation to a lot of the people reading your comment.

      11 votes
      1. emdash
        Link Parent
        For what it's worth, count me as the third person who also read it that way. It's a heavily based-in-bad-faith preamble that's practically lost all meaning—the "I have black friends" of LGBT...

        For what it's worth, count me as the third person who also read it that way. It's a heavily based-in-bad-faith preamble that's practically lost all meaning—the "I have black friends" of LGBT discrimination.

        If ya' want to be kind, just be positively kind!

        12 votes
      2. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I felt the same as you when reading the introduction to that comment. However, in @wundumguy's defence, the question he's asking often does come from homophobic people trying to prove that gay...

        I felt the same as you when reading the introduction to that comment. However, in @wundumguy's defence, the question he's asking often does come from homophobic people trying to prove that gay people choose their lifestyle, and are therefore responsible for the consequences of their "wrong" choice.

        6 votes
      3. wundumguy
        Link Parent
        Haha well to be fair when I first starting reading YOUR comment I thought you were leading into "this guy is a homophobic piece of ..." but then I breathed a sigh of relief! I don't have much...

        Haha well to be fair when I first starting reading YOUR comment I thought you were leading into "this guy is a homophobic piece of ..." but then I breathed a sigh of relief! I don't have much experience talking about this kind of stuff, and I know my question is fine because I know I'm coming from a good place. I wanted to "protect" myself in case I made a wrong assumption right off the bat, or said a phrase incorrectly, because I'm just words on a page to you from a stranger. I figured better safe than sorry.

        2 votes
    2. emdash
      Link Parent
      I don't know much of the science behind this; but there does seem to be a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors involved. Off the top of my head, I'm aware: People who don't...

      I don't know much of the science behind this; but there does seem to be a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors involved. Off the top of my head, I'm aware:

      • People who don't have hair whorls are more likely to be gay.
      • People who are left handed are more likely to be gay.
      • Those who have older siblings are more likely to be gay.

      There is no gay gene, per se—in fact, I'm a big subscriber to the notion that single genes or combinations of genes expressing traits is actually fairly rare in terms of determining who you are overall. It's all a gigantic nucleotide soup, with every gene weakly interacting with nearly every other in superposition to make you you. There's probably a million billion different gene expressions that can produce an outcome that results in a person that's gay. It's so incredibly diverse, and effectively almost a quantum-mechanical game of probabilities. (There's a term for this hypothesis, but I forget its name).

      But what the above facts seem to indicate to me is that hormonal and genetic combinatorials of your parents are important in determining at least partially, your sexual orientation. I'm left-handed, for example.

      Environmental factors post-birth probably are an important contributor too, along with your experiences as a child. I can't point to anything in my history that would affect me in my childhood to skew one way or another, however—personally I'd consider that a very weak/obtuse effect.

      8 votes
    3. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I believe you will find very few people who would argue it is purely nature or purely nurture. Most people agree that sexuality and gender are a mix of the two. I am also a strong believer that...

      I believe you will find very few people who would argue it is purely nature or purely nurture. Most people agree that sexuality and gender are a mix of the two.

      I am also a strong believer that the idea that the amount nature and nurture affect any one person is not set in stone across all people. That is to say, for one person it may be 90% nature and 10% nurture, whereas for another person it may be the exact opposite (10% nature and 90% nurture). In fact, you can prove pretty well that this is the case when it comes to certain genetic predispositions - someone lacking both genes for an important biochemical process (such as sickle cell anemia) is at a higher risk for the diseased state than someone lacking only one gene for the same process. A predisposition does not guarantee that they will experience the disease, it just lowers the amount in which nurture (or environmental factors) matter.

      But even excluding this belief, I must pose the question - why does it matter? What does knowing its 55% nature and 45% nurture tell you? What action can you take with this knowledge? The pursuit of this knowledge in my mind is completely trivial - it does nothing but satisfy a curiosity.

      6 votes
      1. wundumguy
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'd argue it does more than satisfy a curiosity, especially when it comes to the process of self-discovery. From what I understand, lots of people struggled to come out over time, and having this...

        I'd argue it does more than satisfy a curiosity, especially when it comes to the process of self-discovery. From what I understand, lots of people struggled to come out over time, and having this kind of knowledge would be helpful during that time period. Or would it not? I imagined the more information known, the better.

        4 votes
  24. [9]
    moonbathers
    Link
    It's only tangentially related, but as long as we've got this thread: Trans ladies, how do you take your estrogen? I know that you're supposed to take it under your tongue but I'm never sure it's...

    It's only tangentially related, but as long as we've got this thread: Trans ladies, how do you take your estrogen? I know that you're supposed to take it under your tongue but I'm never sure it's actually being absorbed.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      I take it sublingually, always have. It's important to keep your mouth moist but not too wet, and wait until you don't feel anything gritty under your tongue. Several people I know have tried...

      I take it sublingually, always have. It's important to keep your mouth moist but not too wet, and wait until you don't feel anything gritty under your tongue.

      Several people I know have tried taking their estrogen pills anally; preliminary research shows that is more effective. I haven't tried it and it sounds gross.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        moonbathers
        Link Parent
        I agree with you, that does sound gross. My problem with sublingually is that I end up having a lot of saliva build-up and I'm not sure that's supposed to happen?

        I agree with you, that does sound gross.

        My problem with sublingually is that I end up having a lot of saliva build-up and I'm not sure that's supposed to happen?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          That's pretty normal! It happens to me too, sometimes. Usually a sign my mouth was too wet to start with.

          That's pretty normal! It happens to me too, sometimes. Usually a sign my mouth was too wet to start with.

          5 votes
    2. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      I do patches, because I'm scared of needles and I've got liver complications, and the patches bypass that.

      I do patches, because I'm scared of needles and I've got liver complications, and the patches bypass that.

      6 votes
    3. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Not a trans lady but I do subcutaneous injections

      Not a trans lady but I do subcutaneous injections

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        tindall
        Link Parent
        How is that? I've heard it's better on the kidneys to do injections.

        How is that? I've heard it's better on the kidneys to do injections.

        4 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Easy? I don't follow the recommended guidelines which is fucking gigantic intramuscular needles, but there's plenty of science to support the notion that subcutaneous is absorbed just as readily...

          Easy? I don't follow the recommended guidelines which is fucking gigantic intramuscular needles, but there's plenty of science to support the notion that subcutaneous is absorbed just as readily as intramuscular and my levels seem fine 🤷‍♀️

          I personally would prefer if pharma companies would get back to making longer half life formulations like undecylate so my levels would be more stable but it's unlikely to happen

          5 votes
  25. [25]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    To the trans people in the panel (@CALICO although the panel says you aren't transitioning or already have, @reifyresonance, @Whom,and @tindall), What do you think causes gender dysphoria in...

    To the trans people in the panel (@CALICO although the panel says you aren't transitioning or already have, @reifyresonance, @Whom,and @tindall),

    What do you think causes gender dysphoria in general?

    In contrast, why did/do you personally want to change sex?

    To those who did, what is the process of transitioning (and eventually removing your genitals and implanting new ones) like and how long did it take to get used to them? I personally would probably spend a few weeks trying to figure out how to masturbate a vagina but I digress.

    More abstractly, and to everyone, what would you compare the LGBT/GSRM community with?

    4 votes
    1. [16]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      What do you think causes gender dysphoria in general? One of the hardest parts of coming out to my family and professional acquaintances is that I have basically no idea. When I was calling myself...

      What do you think causes gender dysphoria in general?

      One of the hardest parts of coming out to my family and professional acquaintances is that I have basically no idea. When I was calling myself nonbinary, I was pretty effeminate, but people are much more comfortable with what they see as an effeminate man (yeah, nobody bothered to get my pronouns right or anything) than when they're confronted with a "full on transsexual", as one of my professors said.

      I don't know why I'm trans. I don't. I don't have special insight into the sociological origin of gender, the relationship to sexual dimorphism, or how my transition affects the balance of spiritual power in the universe (I used to spend a lot of time around some very literalist Wiccans, which is... a wild phrase to even type.)

      So, okay, I can't answer in general. Let's move on to:

      Why did/do you personally want to change sex?

      I do know that when people see me and interact with me as a man, my emotions pretty much range from "deeply bitter, angry, and suicidal" to "having a pretty good time right now". Only after breaking through my own denial and meeting some people who were willing to gender me correctly and let me try out different names, including my lovely girlfriend, did I ever experience what I would call "happiness". I still have a range of emotions, but now - with a feminine gender presentation that often passes for cisgender, and with much less testosterone and much more estrogen - my emotional range has expanded to include such feelings as heartwrenchingly deep love, genuine euphoria, and, honestly, real sadness.

      My grandfather died when I was twelve, deep in denial, and I honestly can't say that I felt a single drop of sadness for him - or rather, I did, but I kept it locked so deep inside me, trying to perform a kind of stereotypical macho masculinity, that I never let myself recognize it for what it was.

      Would I still be trans in a society that had less fucked-up standards for men? Would I still be trans if I could wear what I wear (my girlfriend says I dress like a "punk-leaning Orthodox [Jewish] girl") and do "feminine" makeup and still present as a man, and not get bashed or denied employment? I have no idea. That's not a theory we can test.

      What is the process of transitioning [...] like?

      I'll paint the whole picture for you, though only concerning so-called "male to female" transition. There are essentially four parts:

      1. Social transition
      2. Legal transition
      3. Hormonal and aesthetic medical transition
      4. Surgical medical transition

      Social transition, for me, happened at the same time as hormonal/aesthetic medical stuff. I started going by Nora (which, for complicated reasons, happened to let me keep all my old initials, emails, and such things, which was nice), and asking people to use she/her pronouns for me, and to include me in women's spaces. As someone who was already out as nonbinary to everyone, though with various levels of people giving a shit, I had pretty much filtered my friend groups down to the people who wouldn't be horrible about it, except my family (and they weren't horrible, just weird).

      This also involved learning to dress correctly (I settled on mostly mid-calf-length skirts, stockings, and tees/blouses, just because it's easy and I like the style. I was never one for high fashion.) and to do my makeup, which has been really fun.

      It has also meant learning to speak in a way people read as feminine. This was harder than I thought, but not impossible, and I'm basically at the point that I can move in and out of "female voice" as I wish. I'm still working on it, though.

      Legal transition is easy to start and a huge pain to finish. I suggest anyone who is interested in this read 100 Hours of Name Change Labor. I'm easily on my 80th hour - in fact, I just got back from a meeting with my school's bursar to try to convince her not to commit tax fraud by sending a form with my old name to the IRS!

      Hormones and aesthetic medical stuff. I'm not going to lie: this shit hurts. It's really hard to pass as a cis woman when you have facial hair, so I decided to pay out of pocket for my own laser hair removal (only on my face). It's painful, ow ow ow. But, it's also very effective. I still shave every day, but as I mentioned, when I do that I almost always pass. If I had a little more money, I'd do electrolysis, which is more painful and expensive but completely permanent and very effective. Thanks to hormone replacement therapy - I take 2 milligrams of estradiol every morning and evening, and spironolactone to suppress my testosterone - my body hair has thinned and slowed its growth, so I only have a regular amount of body hair for a cis woman (the range is actually pretty big, and I'm right in the middle). I do shave my legs, like a lot of women, and it sucks! But the results are nice.

      Hormones did a lot to me. They let me cry, in concert with therapy and the freedom that comes with transition. They made me colder, made my muscles grow less (very noticeable - I don't know what all this crap is about trans women being naturally better at sports, because I get probably 30% of the muscle growth as I used to from the same routine) and made my fat move around. I grew breasts, and my hips widened (no, not the bone, just the muscle and fat). I've only been on hormones for about a year, so I expect more changes in year two.

      The Surgery. To clear things up: not all trans people have any kind of surgery. The only surgery I've had is to remove a cyst in my back that is completely unrelated to my transition. I might get what's called an orchiectomy to remove my testes, which would mean I don't have to take spironolactone anymore, which would be nice. I might eventually get some kind of bottom surgery - or GRS/SRS/GCS/whatever it's called at that point.

      I do want to point out:

      removing your genitals and implanting new ones

      Sadly, this is not what happens. Every post-bottom-surgery trans woman has had a lot of very painful electrolysis (imagine a doctor sticking an electrified needle into your balls. A couple dozen times. Every week for six months.), few incisions made, a bit of stuff moved around, and then months and months of growing her new junk herself. It's a difficult process that involves several-times-daily dialation and hurts a lot.

      For those who don't know, penises and clitorises (clitori?) are the same thing, and scrotal tissue is the same as vaginal tissue, with some developmental differences due to hormones that basically reverse themselves when you change your hormones (and get the hair removed). So, it literally is just a matter of moving things around. It's pretty difficult to distinguish a neovagina (the term for a surgically created vagina, including on cis women who need reconstructive surgery) from a natural born one.

      Anyway, to reiterate: not all trans people get bottom surgery, because it hurts and sucks and not everyone has really bad genital dysphoria. It's also expensive and you can be on a waiting list for literally years.

      More abstractly, and to everyone, what would you compare the LGBT/GSRM community with?

      I do not like the use of the term "LGBT community". There are LGBT communities, like the one here, or the one at my school, or the several on Reddit or Twitter or in my hometown, but merely being gay, a lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or any of the other gender, sexual, or romantic minorities is not sufficient to be in "a" community. What we do have, at least in the US and Europe, is a somewhat unified culture.

      In any case, I would say that it's a fairly unique thing, because unlike race, religion, nationality, or wealth, queerness is not primarily hereditary. Queerness is a reverse diaspora. Every generation of queer youth - some of whom are not youths when they discover they're queer - has to discover their culture on their own, and we are just on the wrong side of a genocide, right now. The amount of queer wisdom that died because of the policies of the Reagan administration is absolutely shocking. The loss of knowledge, experience, and organization is absolutely horrifying, and I doubt most queer communities will recover for another twenty years.

      Anyway, I hate to end on a bummer, so I want to point out some of my favourite little inconsequential things about being trans.

      1. Estradiol is absorbed sublingually (under the tongue), and it tastes pretty good.
      2. My current partner has been with me throughout my transition and is really cute about things like buying me progressively warmer blankets as my metabolism cools down.
      3. The transgender symbol has a cool history and the ways people try to take it from us almost always end up being really fucking metal.
      4. Two of my five favourite musicians are trans; one hadn't come out when I originally got into her band, and I didn't know about the other one being trans until after I had seen her in concert.
      5. The trans flag is the prettiest pride flag, you can't change my mind.

      Note: Whoof, this is long. Sorry. It's a good question with just enough misunderstanding to require a bit of explanation - please don't take this as telling you off or lecturing!

      15 votes
      1. patience_limited
        Link Parent
        I just want to say thanks for making a clear distinction between gender dysphoria and genital dysphoria. Not everyone who has a bad fit for their birth-assigned gender wants a differently designed...

        I just want to say thanks for making a clear distinction between gender dysphoria and genital dysphoria.

        Not everyone who has a bad fit for their birth-assigned gender wants a differently designed body, or even different hormones.

        This is very complicated territory that the medical and psychological professions just haven't come to grips with yet (not much research, dammit), and one of the reasons why transmedicalism is so controversial.

        7 votes
      2. [14]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        "Clitorises" is an acceptable modern equivalent. The original Greek plural is "clitorides". Are you saying that some trans men still have their vaginas, and some trans women still have their penises?

        clitorises (clitori?)

        "Clitorises" is an acceptable modern equivalent. The original Greek plural is "clitorides".

        Anyway, to reiterate: not all trans people get bottom surgery, because it hurts and sucks and not everyone has really bad genital dysphoria.

        Are you saying that some trans men still have their vaginas, and some trans women still have their penises?

        5 votes
        1. [8]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          Yes, that's right! However, hormone therapy causes significant genital changes over time, including the growth of the clitoris with T and the shrinking of the penis with E. Surgery is used to...

          Yes, that's right! However, hormone therapy causes significant genital changes over time, including the growth of the clitoris with T and the shrinking of the penis with E. Surgery is used to augment these changes.

          As I've mentioned elsewhere, it's interesting to consider that oyr so-called sexual dimorphism is really more like a spectrum than a binary: as many as one in a hundred people is born with a "non-standard" configuration of genitals and secondary sex characteristics, and probably more than that (though it's never been studied) have non-standard sex hormone levels and sex-related genetics.

          Even leaving that aside, the fact that just taking a few pills can cause someone to grow a penis is, at least in my view, a pretty good indicator that sex, as a category, is much more complex than we often think.

          13 votes
          1. [7]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            ...well, that's a fucking revelation if I've ever heard one about sex and gender. Surely it's not just a handful of pills, though, is it? I mean, I'm yet to wrap my head around the fact that a...

            ...well, that's a fucking revelation if I've ever heard one about sex and gender.

            Surely it's not just a handful of pills, though, is it? I mean, I'm yet to wrap my head around the fact that a person can grow a sexual organ solely because of an influx of a specific hormone, but a small quantity of hormonal supplements doesn't seem to me like enough of a stimulus to provoke a change that significant.

            5 votes
            1. [5]
              tindall
              Link Parent
              Actually, yeah, come to think of it most people take testosterone as an injection. But yes, other than the placement of the urethra, testosterone basically causes the clitoris to grow into a...

              Actually, yeah, come to think of it most people take testosterone as an injection. But yes, other than the placement of the urethra, testosterone basically causes the clitoris to grow into a penis, usually on the small end of things. Surgery is used just to tidy up and make it bigger, and maybe put the urethra in place.

              Regarding MtF transition, I don't feel comfortable being too graphic about my own genitals, but suffice it to say that a few pills a day has caused significant changes, and my serum estradiol is still well below normal female levels. It's a balancing act, because like any medicine, you generally want to take as little as possible.

              EDIT: also, it's worth noting that testosterone will naturally suppress estrogen, so people talking T just take T, while people talking E need to have a T suppressor, which is usually a bit more serious in terms of side effects. In my case it makes me pee a lot and it sucks.

              12 votes
              1. [2]
                ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                That's... wow. A whole major aspect of the subject that I would never have been able to discover were it not for this thread and the people – yourself included – graciously giving their time and...

                That's... wow. A whole major aspect of the subject that I would never have been able to discover were it not for this thread and the people – yourself included – graciously giving their time and attention to enlighten us all.

                Thank you for the replies.

                8 votes
                1. tindall
                  Link Parent
                  I'm really glad to have been helpful! I love educating people about weird and interesting things that don't often come up. Knowledge and understanding are the most important things in this world,...

                  I'm really glad to have been helpful! I love educating people about weird and interesting things that don't often come up. Knowledge and understanding are the most important things in this world, in my opinion.

                  7 votes
              2. [2]
                spctrvl
                Link Parent
                Estrogen can actually naturally suppress testosterone as well, just needs higher doses than are used in regimens employing an anti-androgen. It's something that's seen a fair bit of interest...

                EDIT: also, it's worth noting that testosterone will naturally suppress estrogen, so people talking T just take T, while people talking E need to have a T suppressor, which is usually a bit more serious in terms of side effects. In my case it makes me pee a lot and it sucks.

                Estrogen can actually naturally suppress testosterone as well, just needs higher doses than are used in regimens employing an anti-androgen. It's something that's seen a fair bit of interest recently due to the side effects of the common AAs, especially spironolactone and cyproterone acetate.

                7 votes
                1. Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  To add to this, for the science nerds out there - any exogenous hormones (T or E) will reduce endogenous production of all hormones through actions which primarily happen at the...

                  To add to this, for the science nerds out there - any exogenous hormones (T or E) will reduce endogenous production of all hormones through actions which primarily happen at the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. In addition, testosterone is actively converted into estrogen through a process known as aromatization but this accounts for a very small amount of estrogen production unless testosterone levels are excessively high (such as with steroid use).

                  8 votes
            2. patience_limited
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Please permit me to interject here that it's even more complicated than that... There are many, many variations on genes for production of sex hormones, hormone metabolism, and sensitivity to sex...

              Please permit me to interject here that it's even more complicated than that...

              There are many, many variations on genes for production of sex hormones, hormone metabolism, and sensitivity to sex hormones.

              You can even have a completely XY genotype and be born with a phenotype indistinguishable (without invasive testing) from an XX female, or vice versa.

              You can alter hormone balance with metabolism of excess testosterone to the point that males will grow breasts (see /u/gaywallet's comment below about testosterone metabolism). You can walk around with levels of androgens that will put your doctor's jaw on the floor, but that same doctor will circle "F" for you on the forms without comment [this is me].

              This is complicated stuff, and there's a lot of territory between man with cantaloupe-smuggling muscles and music-box ballerina-shaped woman.

              I've been acquainted with a couple of people who've gone through MtF transition, and many people who've gone through FtM, and the results of hormone treatment alone can be highly variable. Generally, though, yep, a handful of pills causes drastic changes.

              Edit: grammaere.

              8 votes
        2. [5]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          Many trans binary people do not have any genital surgery whatsoever. It's also less common among trans non-binary people to have genital reassignment surgery. There are even newer medical...

          Are you saying that some trans men still have their vaginas, and some trans women still have their penises?

          Many trans binary people do not have any genital surgery whatsoever. It's also less common among trans non-binary people to have genital reassignment surgery. There are even newer medical procedures which can allow for someone to have both a penis and a vagina.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            How does it work with both a penis and a vagina? Is one able to inseminate and be inseminated under such conditions? Would such a person be able to give birth to a child that's fully-developed?

            How does it work with both a penis and a vagina? Is one able to inseminate and be inseminated under such conditions? Would such a person be able to give birth to a child that's fully-developed?

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              Differing ways depending on the starting genitalia. We have no way to produce gonads or ovaries with current technology although I have heard of potential stem cell growth methodologies being...

              Differing ways depending on the starting genitalia. We have no way to produce gonads or ovaries with current technology although I have heard of potential stem cell growth methodologies being developed.

              5 votes
              1. ThatFanficGuy
                Link Parent
                I'm glad I'm able to ask these stupid questions and receive a genuine, straight answer.

                I'm glad I'm able to ask these stupid questions and receive a genuine, straight answer.

                3 votes
            2. mftrhu
              Link Parent
              No. For one thing, this subthread is about surgically-created penises or vaginas, without the rest of the reproductive system. While womb transplants might theoretically be possible, they are just...

              No.

              For one thing, this subthread is about surgically-created penises or vaginas, without the rest of the reproductive system. While womb transplants might theoretically be possible, they are just entering the experimental stage, and, like all the other procedures, it'll take a while before trans-feminine people will be able to access them (they also are transplants, with all the disadvantages of the case). On top of that, as Gaywallet already said, there is currently no way to create either testicles or ovaries.

              Even when talking about intersex people, auto-fertility - the capacity to (hypothetically) inseminate oneself, which requires both types of gonadal tissue to function - has never been reported in humans. AFAICR the only mammals in which this has been found to happen are rabbits.

              5 votes
    2. CALICO
      Link Parent
      This is a weird one for me, because I do not have the experience of having a gender identity. I never have. Only recently in my life did I become aware that this was non-standard. I have a...

      What do you think causes gender dysphoria in general?

      This is a weird one for me, because I do not have the experience of having a gender identity. I never have. Only recently in my life did I become aware that this was non-standard. I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the concept of gender.
      I have an opinion on consciousness that isn't the mainstream, materialist-reductionist view found in science. Who is correct has yet to be determined, but I hope to be alive when we finally crack that nut—I'm willing to cede my position in the face of irrefutable evidence. Suffice to say, I'm not convinced that consciousness is entirely an emergent property coming from the architecture and operation of our neurons. However, that architecture is certainly important to the flavor of my experience. I reject the notion that my consciousness is male, or female, because I do not have the experience of feeling male, or female. As Alan Watts would put it, my consciousness is "...an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself."
      That said, I find myself dissatisfied that this flesh-robot my mind is piloting around the world is shaped like a man. I can only guess this is due to something about the structure of my brain, rather than the nature of the mind within the brain.

      In contrast, why did/do you personally want to change sex?

      I have not transitioned. Partly because having a male body does not get in the way of my relationship with others, or the world. Having a male body just makes me sad. As well, the technology of today is insufficient to change the body I have into the body I feel I should have. It would be a half-measure, in my case, and I'd find myself still dissatisfied. The hormones might help a bit, but I know the body dysphoria will still be there. I am not a danger to myself, and the nature of my work and personal philosophies keep my attention focused at a scale of things much larger than the individual.
      Maybe I'll live to see some future-ass nanotechnology that will enable a full reconstruction, or the Singularity will happen and I can petition our new Silicon God to work their magic. But until that point, it's really not worth going through the trouble. For me.
      I feel not at all attached to this body, but I exert my will over it through things like tattoos & piercings—things in which I have the power to choose. That helps.

      7 votes
    3. [7]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I experience very little gender dysphoria. In fact, I wasn't aware I experienced it at all until I greatly reflected upon it. It still confuses me often when I experience dysphoria because it's...

      To the trans people answering, what do you think causes gender dysphoria ?

      I experience very little gender dysphoria. In fact, I wasn't aware I experienced it at all until I greatly reflected upon it. It still confuses me often when I experience dysphoria because it's not a deep unsettling feeling - it's little things which very subtly affect my mood... Things like people telling you to "smile more"; it doesn't necessarily change your outlook for the entire day but it probably does shift your mood just a little.

      Why did you want to change sex?

      I don't.

      what is the process of transitioning

      Transitioning is different for everyone. Some people don't want genital reassignment surgery (GRS). For me, it's been adding exogenous hormones to my body, changing my name, and being truer to myself in how I want to express my identity.

      More abstractly, and to everyone, what would you compare the LGBT/GSRM community with?

      I'm not sure what you are asking? Why must anything be compared to anything? What are you trying to get at?

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        Basically, while reading Wikipedia on trans people it said gender dysphoria is not really required to being trans (and here you are I guess), so I thought it was something analogous to ASD (autism...

        I'm not sure what you are asking? Why must anything be compared to anything? What are you trying to get at?

        Basically, while reading Wikipedia on trans people it said gender dysphoria is not really required to being trans (and here you are I guess), so I thought it was something analogous to ASD (autism spectrum disorder) where gender dysphoria is a spectrum and it is not inextricably tied to transexuality and vice-versa and after a few mental hoops I think the LGBTQ+/GSRM community could (structurally and situationally) be compared to the 'developmental disorder' (Wikipedia name here, since we're lacking an actual name) community, being very complex, unfortunately poorly researched, very misunderstood and often used as a scapegoat or being outright targeted for elimination. That's just rambling though.

        3 votes
        1. patience_limited
          Link Parent
          There are commonalities among all outsider communities. We band together for support among those with similar experiences of traumatic exclusion, to commune with others like us, to advocate for...

          There are commonalities among all outsider communities. We band together for support among those with similar experiences of traumatic exclusion, to commune with others like us, to advocate for rights, and to collectively share tools and knowledge for growth, healing, and empowerment.

          From my own experience, I can confirm that it's possible to experience gender dysphoria without being trans.

          Gender is complicated in ways broader, I think, than neurodevelopmental divergence. I can think of at least five axes for characterizing it, that the medical and psychological professions usually sum up as "bio-psychosocial":

          1. Genotypic - sex-determining chromosomes and genes;

          2. Biochemical/phenotypic - what levels of sex hormones you naturally express, environmental hormone exposures, how you metabolize sex hormones, and how sensitive various chemical receptors in muscle, bone, endocrine tissues, etc. are to hormone activity, which all influence how your gender looks and functions;

          3. Neurodevelopmental - the degree to which your brain is specialized for sex-specific responses and behaviors (as you mention, there may be some influence on ASD here, but this can also influence gender identity and sexual orientation);

          4. Intrafamilial - early gendered behavior learning as modeled by parents, siblings, and extended family;

          5. Social role - the permitted and mandated gender expressions prescribed by broader units of society.

          Gender dysphoria can arise in the presence of excursions from the norm on any of these axes. Transexuality (at least as it's being researched) is assumed to operate at the neurodevelopmental level, possibly with some genetic or environmental hormone influences. Your analogy with ASD isn't totally off-base, but with regard to gender dysphoria, incomplete.

          I can say, after a great deal of inquiry, reflection, and medical consultation, that I'm not trans, despite having gender dysphoria. The formulation, with reference to the model I proposed above is, "I don't feel like I'm biochemically, neurologically, or socially a normal woman, but being a man in most or all five dimensions definitely wouldn't feel right, either."

          7 votes
        2. reifyresonance
          Link Parent
          I think a useful construct is "gender euphoria" - the opposite of dysphoria. Some people won't have dysphoria towards their assigned gender, but do experience euphoria wrt another gender, and...

          I think a useful construct is "gender euphoria" - the opposite of dysphoria. Some people won't have dysphoria towards their assigned gender, but do experience euphoria wrt another gender, and transition for that reason.

          7 votes
        3. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          You might find this article interesting.

          I think the LGBTQ+/GSRM community could (structurally and situationally) be compared to the 'developmental disorder' (Wikipedia name here, since we're lacking an actual name) community, being very complex, unfortunately poorly researched, very misunderstood and often used as a scapegoat or being outright targeted for elimination.

          You might find this article interesting.

          3 votes
        4. [2]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          but why make the comparison?

          I think the community could be compared to

          but why make the comparison?

          1. Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            As I said it's pretty abstract and pretty whimsical.

            As I said it's pretty abstract and pretty whimsical.

            2 votes
  26. [10]
    Turtle
    Link
    What do you all think about trans people in sports? Particularly trans women.

    What do you all think about trans people in sports? Particularly trans women.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Yes trans women can and should compete in women's sports. Frankly, I'd like to see the abolition of gendered sports, much like gendered everything, but I also understand why in today's society it...

      Yes trans women can and should compete in women's sports. Frankly, I'd like to see the abolition of gendered sports, much like gendered everything, but I also understand why in today's society it is important to have women's sports.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        wundumguy
        Link Parent
        I don't think we separated women's sports just because society thought it was important. I think it's because if you had EVERYONE compete at a sport (imagine, I dunno, javelin toss), there'd be a...

        I don't think we separated women's sports just because society thought it was important. I think it's because if you had EVERYONE compete at a sport (imagine, I dunno, javelin toss), there'd be a large group of folks that could throw, on average, X distance, and a large group that could throw, on average, X - 20% distance. So happens that the second group is women, and instead of relegating them to the bottom of any champion's list, there's a separation that allows them to compete with like-abled athletes. Nobody wants their best to coopted by forces outside their control, and nobody should be forced to take performance enhancing drugs to be able to keep up.

        I forgot where I'm going with this and I'm tired. All I wanted to say was there's no easy answer here. Where do you draw the line?

        2 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          For a large number of sports this is simply not the issue. For the rest, this can be fairly easily solved with weight classes. There are, notably, a few sports (such as weightlifting) in which...

          there'd be a large group of folks that could throw, on average, X distance, and a large group that could throw, on average, X - 20% distance.

          For a large number of sports this is simply not the issue. For the rest, this can be fairly easily solved with weight classes. There are, notably, a few sports (such as weightlifting) in which this divide is still healthy. However, we have seen this divide shrink in the last few decades and it begs the question - why? Perhaps it is precisely because they have more opportunities to compete with the binary opposite sex. Perhaps it is because they are now getting better resources with respect to training. Perhaps it's because as a population our access to food has improved and that's creating a larger pool of potential athletes. Perhaps it's because we're identifying and beginning training at an earlier age. It's an incredibly complicated matter, but there's one thing I can tell you - the differences, genetically between a male and a female have not significantly changed.

          Where do you draw the line?

          I think there should be a healthy mix of specific sports (gender specific, background/ethnic specific, profession specific, whatever you want) and nonspecific sports (all-inclusive) just like everything else in life. The highest levels of sports should be nonspecific.


          As an aside, the IOC has allowed transgender athletes since 2004 and yet they have repeatedly failed to even make olympic trials in many sports.

          4 votes
      2. [3]
        Turtle
        Link Parent
        So do you think being a male at birth lends no advantage to a trans female athlete?

        So do you think being a male at birth lends no advantage to a trans female athlete?

        1. tindall
          Link Parent
          Do you think that it does? If so, what's the mechanism? If the mechanism is going through a testosterone-rich puberty, well, are you going to ban cis women with PCOS? How about trans women who...

          Do you think that it does? If so, what's the mechanism? If the mechanism is going through a testosterone-rich puberty, well, are you going to ban cis women with PCOS? How about trans women who never went through such a puberty (got blockers, or started spiro before their bones finished fusing)?

          I don't mean to be hostile, but I think it's important to think through the implications of suggestions like this in full.

          13 votes
        2. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          A single attribute doesn't make an athlete. It's a combination of many factors. Yes, genetics matter, but even within those who are born female there are normal genetic variations that would make...

          A single attribute doesn't make an athlete. It's a combination of many factors. Yes, genetics matter, but even within those who are born female there are normal genetic variations that would make their hormone profile indistinguishable from their male counterparts (let alone other even weirder normal genetic variation). There are also genetic variations which would provide huge benefits far beyond raised testosterone levels throughout their life, such as an enlarged heart or mutations in the MSTN gene which lead to excessive muscle growth.

          9 votes
    2. CALICO
      Link Parent
      My thoughts on this one are more of a reflection of my military experience, than my sports experience—which is so limited to the point it barely exists. I can see how a trans-woman could have an...

      My thoughts on this one are more of a reflection of my military experience, than my sports experience—which is so limited to the point it barely exists.

      I can see how a trans-woman could have an advantage over cis-women in some areas. Bone density and "default" musculature being the two that come to mind immediately, though I'm not sure to what degree making the hormonal transition levels that field. There are surely outliers, but I could buy that an average non-transitioned, male-bodied athlete may retain an advantage over the average non-transitioned, female-bodied athlete in the same sport, after having transitioned.

      That's a valid question on fairness.

      My answer to that question of fairness, is that having a strict separation of the sexes in sports is fundamentally unfair.

      In much the same way that combat sports have weight classes, I don't see why we couldn't dissolve the sex-boundary in sports and instead class everything by a series of metrics instead. If you can meet X-Y-Z standards, you are A-B-C Class in Whatever-the-Sport. Whether you are cis-male/female, trans, intersex. Anything. If you qualify for some bracket, then you compete in that bracket. Your capabilities are your capabilities, regardless of your sex or gender.

      There's something of a conversation in the military world on the subject of women in Special Forces roles. Some people have the opinion that women are—on average—less physically capable than a male soldier, and would be a liability in such a role. My opinion is that if you can meet the standards to be SF, then you can be SF. I've met female soldiers who can outperform male soldiers by a wide margin. They're an outlier, sure. But their capabilities are real, and if they want to be SF, and can meet the standards to be SF, then just fuckin' let them be SF.

      10 votes
    3. patience_limited
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      There's an acquaintance of mine who went through transition as a competitive Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter. [She's also one of the coolest people on Earth.] She's contended (correctly based on my...

      There's an acquaintance of mine who went through transition as a competitive Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter. [She's also one of the coolest people on Earth.]

      She's contended (correctly based on my observations) that particularly in sports where skill is a significant factor, any advantages from biological gender are effectively irrelevant among opponents who are otherwise equally matched by weight, reach, skill class, or other significant attributes. Alaina gave a great interview with Vice that I think addresses related questions handily.

      7 votes
    4. reifyresonance
      Link Parent
      I stay away from this topic. Personally, I'll only do coed sports like ultimate Frisbee. Easiest on everyone. Except people other than me who are trans and want to compete in gender segregated...

      I stay away from this topic. Personally, I'll only do coed sports like ultimate Frisbee. Easiest on everyone.

      Except people other than me who are trans and want to compete in gender segregated sports.

      Funny, I feel guilty for not ever having had the energy to go read up enough on this topic that I can defend my trans siblings.

      4 votes
  27. joplin
    Link
    Thanks for starting this thread! I don't know whether it was spawned by other discussions recently, but several of you answered my questions very nicely and I appreciate that.

    Thanks for starting this thread! I don't know whether it was spawned by other discussions recently, but several of you answered my questions very nicely and I appreciate that.

    12 votes
  28. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Topic-level pings do not yet work, so I'm using this comment to notify all panelists that the LGBT Q&A thread is open. @Algernon_Asimov @CALICO @Cleb @emdash @Gaywallet @patience_limited...

    Topic-level pings do not yet work, so I'm using this comment to notify all panelists that the LGBT Q&A thread is open.

    @Algernon_Asimov
    @CALICO
    @Cleb
    @emdash
    @Gaywallet
    @patience_limited
    @reifyresonance
    @ShilohMizook
    @Silbern
    @tindall
    @Whom

    Mark as noise, please, so this doesn't get in the way of questions!

    13 votes