Header by Rosa Middleton
BUTCH PLEASE is all about a butch and her adventures in queer masculinity, with dabblings in such topics as gender roles, boy briefs, and aftershave.
In regards to passing, I do not want to change who I am to feel more like a guy.
I AM a guy. I do not need anyone else to tell me how to be what I am.
I AM who I am.
I AM what I am.
If folks do not want to accept me for being a genderqueer trans* guy, I do not want their acceptance. I do not want their blessing or approval.
I am a proud genderfuck. I do not want to change a thing about myself to make OTHERS more comfortable with my appearance, behaviour, etc.
Why should anyone have to do that?
EDIT: I realise that some folks strive to pass for safety and self-acceptance. To each their own. You feelings are valid. I am raising these questions, because I am genuinely curious about why these things exist - the gender binary, social constructs of beauty and gender, etc.
I have my own battles with my gender presentation daily. For a long time, I stressed passing until I questioned why it was so important to me. I truly want to hear/read from everyone else’s point of view. Please do not think that I am guilting anyone here.
Show your children that girls can build bombs and rockets and boys can bake cakes and design evening gowns. Stereotypes suck and you want your children to do what their passion is because otherwise it’ll come out in some fucked up way and you’ll end up with evening gowns that explode when you put them on.
I probably wouldn’t encourage any of my children how to build bombs… just saying.
On January 3, 2012, ABC is set to premiere Work It, a sitcom about two men who dress as women to secure employment. At a time when the transgender community routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, a show like this could put the transgender community in an even more dangerous position.
On December 21, 2011, GLAAD and HRC, two national LGBT advocacy organizations, placed a full-page ad in media industry publication Daily Variety as part of a campaign to educate the media industry and the general public around the show. The organizations also confirmed a meeting with ABC executives will take place to discuss the sitcom.
According to ABC, ‘Work It’ centers on two unemployed men who have “learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a ‘man-cession’ and their skills aren’t in high demand.” One finds out that a pharmaceuticals company is hiring sales reps, but only female sales reps. He goes to the interview dressed in heels, a skirt, and makeup and gets hired as a woman.
While the show’s pilot does not explicitly address transgender people, many home viewers unfamiliar with the realities of being transgender will still make the connection. As the ad states, by encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters’ attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women.
“This show could contribute to the high levels of job discrimination that transgender Americans face and will give license for people to mock and ridicule those whose gender expression might not fit with what society considers the norm,” said GLAAD’s Acting President Mike Thompson. “The media should use this as an opportunity to address the huge number of inaccurate or offensive images of transgender people in news and entertainment today.”
“As a network with a record of positive portrayals of LGBT people, ABC should know better than to air this offensive program that even has the potential to jeopardize the safety of transgender people,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
A recent report on the discrimination that transgender Americans face from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force found that:
- Transgender Americans can be legally fired in 34 states today simply for being who they are.
- 97% of self-identified transgender people reported being harassed or abused at work.
- 26% reported losing their jobs because they are transgender.
Critics have also pointed out the show’s offensive nature with regard to unemployed people and people of color, including comments from a character who says in the pilot: “I’m Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs.” The show’s discussion of women in the workplace has also come under fire after a pharmaceutical rep explains why the company is only hiring women by saying, “We find the doctors prefer to ‘nail’ the drug reps more when they are girls.”
Previously the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative and the Transgender Law Center spoke out against the show’s promos. “This show is debuting at a time when women continue to face high rates of workplace discrimination and get paid less than men, and when transgender and gender non-conforming people face extraordinary levels of violence and discrimination in their communities and the workplace,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center.
ABC should not air this show – plain and simple. At the very least, Work It is offensive and insulting. At worst, the show is downright dangerous and sends a message that transgender people are to be laughed at, or are somehow less-than. This show would be a setback for transgender Americans, and for everyone who believes that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Human Rights Campaign launched an online action for community members and allies to contact ABC and share concerns, which you can participate in by visiting their page here.
GUEST POST FROM HRC AND GLAAD
HRC President Joe Solmonese and GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson want ABC to understand why “the show would be a setback for transgender Americans, and for everyone who believes that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.” You can read the full post at HuffPost Gay Voices.
ADDTIONAL STATEMENTS FROM LGBT ADVOCATES
GLAAD – You can read GLAAD’s blog post on Work It here.
Transgender Law Center - In conjunction with the San Francisco LGBT Center and the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative, the TLC noted in their statement that the economic realities for transgender people are a far cry from Work It’s premise.
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center – The LA GLC operates their own Transgender Economic Empowerment Program, and also cited the realities of workplace discrimination for transgender people.
Massachusetts Transgender Coalition – The MTC advocates for an end to discrimination on behalf of the transgender community, and invites readers to call or send a letter to ABC with the information provided.
Pam’s House Blend – Transgender advocate Autumn Sandeen explains why it’s time to retire the “temporary transvestite genre” in comedy, and why the premise of the show is disrespectful to her and her peers.
Huffington Post – LGBT advocate Cathy Renna explains why Work It is harmful to more than just the transgender community, while Transgender Law Center’s Mark Snyder discusses why the show’s print ad is also highly problematic.
The Advocate - Executive Editor Diane Anderson-Minshall says that “while the characters on Work It are clearly cross-dressing men, not transgender women, the average American doesn’t understand the difference. That’s what makes the show so dangerous.” and discusses the disproportionate rates of unemployment, violence and poverty that transgender women face.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force - Read The Task Force’s blog post on Work It here.
The difference between Sex and Gender
Sex - Sex is a societal construct that gives an assigned sex (male or female) based on a person’s genitals. If a person is more intersex than they may be subjected to an unconsensual surgery that will attempt to reform their genitals into something that looks more ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Gender Roles - Gender roles are constructs which demand expected behaviors of a person that are parallel to their assigned sex. So for instance, masculine man and feminine woman.
Gender - Gender is psychological, but also soul, heart, and body, based on an individual level. It’s how you identify. This is not a social construct. A person’s gender may incorporate their sex and anyway that it is perceived by that individual but at this point sex is owned by self, not the public, meaning that it is no longer a construct.
The truth is we have no idea what makes us man, woman or non-binary because it is not a tangible concept but one that is abstract and unique to every mind. If it were a social construct, that would limit each person to being only what they are expected to be. Which erases trans* folk, and other people who go outside feminine woman and masculine man. Because how could these people exist if their gender is based on a pass or fail system which only allows for specific points to exist? Gender is limitless and lawless; it is an entire galaxy of stars, planets and moons, and is not spawned from cultural stipulations of what we are supposed to be.
Gender expression - How an individual communicates their gender identity to the outside world through haircut, voice, behavior, mannerisms, clothing and other external forms of presentation. There are many ways an individual can communicate their gender expression and it should be noted that not every transgender person (or cis person for that matter) will adopt a socially accepted expression that fits into society’s gender roles. There isn’t a monolithic narrative to explain a specific gender but a multitude of stories and experiences that are different for EVERYONE, and they are all correct. In addition, gender and gender expression are not an indication of sexual orientation in the slightest; a person’s hair will not tell you who they’re fucking or if they even fuck at all.
In most western cultures and it’s imperialistic outreaches have come to understand gender only as a binary concept, meaning there is only room for two sexes and correlating genders: male and female. However, many people exist today that are proof that gender cannot be simplified into two boxes but rather a continuum of possibilities.
This is a spectrum where gender is not defined by anatomy but where biology, psychology, gender expression, and gender identity intersect to form a multidimensional array of possibilities. As stated before: gender is a limitless and lawless notion.
What does this all mean?
It means these charts that I keep seeing on my dash are not only the product of a cissexist understanding of gender but painfully wrong and continue to erase trans* folk.
Stop posting these:
Day 2 - Did you have any experiences as a child that might have foreshadowed your sexuality?
SIDENOTE: Out of all of the questions in this challenge, this is the one that I do not quite understand, because I believe that this question could potentially promote stereotypes about the lgbtqiaa+ community - even if this was unintentional. Anyhow, I will answer it the best way that I can.
For me, the only experiences that I had as a child that foreshadowed me being gay, was the fact that I had crushes on my same-sex peers.
My earliest memories come from pre-school.
Back then, I did not understand gender roles and social constructs of what it meant to be a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’. What I DID understand was that I wanted to do things that were socially acceptable for a boy to do. I just wanted to be a boy. I remember any time I got a chance to make a wish - whether it was for my birthday or when it was 11:11 or WHATEVER, I would wish that I was a boy. I wanted to kiss and date girls. I wanted to dress like boys. I wanted to play boy sports. I wanted to cut off all my hair and not wear make-up. I wanted to get dirty and play outside.
Looking back on this, I realize how much emphasis on being this or that gender (especially at that age) comes from school, family, friends, media, etc. I never want to see other children have to sacrifice who they truly are to fit into some mold that society deems acceptable.
It was not until I was much older that I realized that I am responsible for who I am and what I want to be - and only me. It took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I want to help others do the same.