June is the month when the nation is treated to the spectacle of Pride Parades in all their glory. It’s also the time when many gay and lesbian people cringe at the thought of being tied to the outlandish displays of the people in these parades, and shrink further away from anything to do with this small minority of the gay sub-population who use these events to inflict themselves on the rest of the country. You really have to feel for the regular lesbians and gay people who are negatively impacted by this nonsense.
There was a time when people needed to see that there is indeed such a thing as really being born gay. We needed to see that people don’t just turn gay because of abuse or parental neglect. Pride was developed as a way to raise the profile that gay people exist, and to that end pride events were enormously successful. They’ve “raised consciousness” of their issue among us out here and people know that gay people exist these days. More than that, we are aware of their political needs and objectives. There is no lack of acknowledging these things and one look at the agenda of the rabid religious types shows that even they know exactly what activist gay and lesbian people are after.
That’s why things such as “pride” parades are counterproductive at this point in time. In the past there was perhaps a reason to shock people into recognition of your existence. But that time, as we all know, is exactly that, in the past. These days “pride” is an excuse for your enemies to whip a generally supportive public into an angry bunch who just don’t want to hear or see this crap any more. Speaking as a member of that public I can tell you that the feeling out here is that the party for this minority of flamboyant gays is doing the legal and political cause of mainstream gays great harm. Assless chaps do not sell political agendas.
There are two main phases to US-style activism. First, we identify an issue and inform our neighbors about its importance. Second, we put a plan into action to have the need addressed in law. Some people resist these kinds of changes and we have historically labeled them “conservative”. Those who push for these changes are seen from this angle as either reformers or radicals depending on the amount of change being proposed. This is the balance we have struck to ensure there is a method of changing what needs to be changed while creating a body of criteria against which these changes can be measured. Because the criteria in our generally democratic-republic system depends on numbers, the character of these campaigns is cast in terms of popularity.
We’re far past the point of consciousness raising and well into the portion of the process where the equal rights of gay and lesbians people should be ensconced in law to reflect the prevailing feeling of the public. The problem is that we have a number of people in the government who refuse to recognize the will of the people and are exercising their power to thwart us. The focus of the concerned gays and lesbians never shifted from activism/movement mode to “getting it done” mode. This leaves the only real public activity here in the hands of the partiers. The public concludes that these things must not be very important to gays and lesbians if that’s the sort of thing that they put forth as their argument for change. It’s a question of priorities, and the public has judged that revelry is not cause enough to worry.
Against this backdrop, the transgender exert an inordinate influence on the struggle due to their high visibility and over-representation at gay events. Now the gamesmasters of gay activism are reaping what they have sown by their attempt to annex “transsexual”. This cynical move will be the undoing of the GLBT.
As long as transgender attaches itself to transsexual, they can never make the argument that self-expression is solely a matter of (chosen) identity. Medical necessity is the lynchpin of what gives transsexual its form in the public mind, and that can never change. The public is knowledgeable about variant birth conditions (because many of us have babies, oddly enough), and it is a sure bet they do not see grown men playing dress up as a birth condition. Because of these facts transsexual has been formed as a concept in law, and indeed some of those laws have been on the books since the 1950’s, while the “transgender” concept is still considered a perversion by many. This isn’t going to change.
Transgender preachers since the outset have tried to push the idea that transgender is just a lesser form of transsexualism. But where transsexuals ask for nothing, transgender demand the moon and stars; legal power to enforce their will on others. This alone will ensure that transgender simply remains a form of dysfunctional gay to the public. But more than that, science continues to find evidence for the transsexual condition (see the side bar over there—>) against the heavy current of resistance put up by social theorists and other miscreants. At the same time, there is no evidence supporting the notion that variant sexual behavior is anything but behavior, dooming the “transgender” to an eventual return to their previous state of merely being sexually quirky people.
This robs the GLBT motif of legitimacy. At some point the whole false edifice will come tumbling down, damaging the very real lives of gays and lesbians who want nothing to do with the way politics have been practiced. In this, they will sadly join the transsexual men and women who have been negatively impacted by the peccadilloes of people who just can’t handle their own sexuality.
Pride is also the month when many transsexual people who are relatively new to the transgender paradigm engage in the annual exodus from its ranks. We are confronted with the truth of what we mired in, and a voice inside says “NO!”. If you are one of these people, let me tell you that voice will not be silenced. It will only grow louder as long as you deny the truth that you are simply a man or woman. Listen to that voice and do what your heart tells you is right.
Newer transsexual people who are just emerging from transition these days often get drawn in to transgender subculture for a time. A lot of us have empathy for others who struggle in life due to our own experiences. We overlook the truth of the crossdressers situation and excuse their behavior even while part of us bristles at the notion that we are joined to them, and resents their demands for power and control. We feel guilty for having these uncharitable feelings for “downtrodden” people who wrestle with difficult sexual issues. But at some point we overcome the resistance of that feeling (while continuing to feel guilty) and are driven by the human need to seek our own peace.
Some of us try to find nice ways to make that break. We’ve spent too long mouthing the words of inclusion and have half come to believe we are all brothers and sisters in gender variance, even while that lie is melting before our eyes. We also feel it would be hypocritical at this late date to reverse our earlier views and argue for a separate state for the transsexual condition, apart from the world of the crossdressers.
We find other ways to distinguish ourselves such as suddenly finding we are “intersexed”. Perhaps some long-hidden medical documentation has come to light referring to infant surgery. Maybe we need to get a genetic karotype, just to make sure.
We seek out means to leave the transgender facade behind, even while we realize with rising horror that the thing we have supported so long is truly antithetical to our existence. The philosophy we have furthered has damaged us, and exists specifically at our expense. Yet the aftertaste of guilt lingers.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many people wake up to reality after being drawn into a con. It feels embarrassing in those early moments after realization, but it’s not a disaster the way we tend to think it is. The key is to admit to yourself that you’ve been duped… and laugh. So what if it happened? It’s a good con. It plays on your empathy, and that’s why its so effective. The fact is if you weren’t a good person to begin with, it wouldn’t have worked in the first place. And you are still that person.
Most people who have been conned by transgender simply move on into their real lives. They stop going to events, they stop blogging. Some people keep a small presence to make sure the beacon is still lit for others who are moving through the darkness of transgender-controlled transition, urged on by our conscience at the injustice of it all.
But most of us go on without live the life we were meant to; we’ve finally left the detour and are back on the road. This is why the transsexual presence in the T of the GLBT is almost nothing.
And that’s the way it should be.