marjaerwin: (Default)
I contacted Elsie to ask this last December. I have not heard back yet. It's possible they didn't get my question, but at this point, I'd like to share it even without an answer.

Hi,

I subscribed to Lesbian Connection a few years ago, understanding that it was intended for the whole lesbian community. I am trans. I suggested Lesbian Connection to a few of my friends, and one of them pointed out the language under the guidelines. I had not seen this before. She thought the definition, "women-born-women who identify as lesbians" was intended to exclude us. I don't know whether that was the intention and whether that is still the intention. I do know that I am who I was born, and I am a woman.

I am trying to decide whether to renew my subscription and whether to suggest Lesbian Connection to my trans lesbian friends. I would like to be able to share a reply to clear the confusion one way or the other.

Thank you.

Cis

Mar. 30th, 2012 10:10 pm
marjaerwin: (Default)
"cis, prep., with acc. on this side of, within." - Cassells

I don't usually use the word. While it's the common Latin antonym of trans, it's also been associated with the idea that all people are either cis or trans, which is reasonable, and to the idea that cis people don't experience sex and gender-related struggles, which only trans people do, which isn't true. Actually, if we listen to what they say, and read what they write, many people who aren't trans face very real struggles. Not all the same struggles, and not to the same degree as our struggles, but maybe enough to back off the word and back off those definitions which package-in misleading assumptions about people's experiences.

But it's not an insult.

It's not trans people naming other people - it's simply using the other half of the name other people put on us.

It's not some conspiracy to "cut and kill women/females/lesbians."

Some of us are "women/females/lesbians."

*headdesk*
marjaerwin: (Default)
(As a follow-up to my comments on the 'cotton ceiling' controversy: http://marjaerwin.livejournal.com/47034.html )

One can be attracted to certain other womyn, to the exclusion of men, because of common interests, compatible personalities, and any number of mental/emotional attributes, physical attributes, or relationship patterns.

If someone is attracted to butchness, she's not likely to find it among men. If someone is attracted to the right phermones, those depend on her partner's hormone levels. If someone needs to mix friendship with romance, she needs to step outside hetero/othering norms, regardless of whether she's looking for a womon or a man.

No two lesbians need find the exact same things attractive or unattractive. One can be attracted to femmes, another to butches, another to the right sort of androgyny. One can be attracted to people who enjoy sports, another can be attracted to people who enjoy tabletop roleplaying, and another can be attracted to people who do both. One can be attracted to soft skin or a delicate touch or a certain figure. And another doesn't have to be interested in the exact same things. One can be attracted to typical Müllerian womonbits. And another doesn't have to be interested in the exact kind of bits.

A womon who loves womyn and could be attracted to either typical Müllerian womonbits or Wolffian womonbits has more than enough reason to consider herself lesbian.

****

Now here's the problem: patriarchy turns outiebits into a symbol of manhood. And outiebits come to symbolize everything wrong with patriarchy, and everything wrong with the man-code, not to mention penetration and everything else unattractive about men.

As trans womyn, we have to defy that association, and unlearn that association.

It wouldn't be right to put anyone else through that though.

It seems like trans lesbians are more likely than non-trans lesbians to accept another womon's outiebits and to be capable of attraction to either Wolffian womonbits or Müllerian ones. Maybe it's because we have to unlearn all those associations. Now some womyn unlearn those associations and accept other womyn's outiebits and are still quite unnattracted to Wolffian womonbits.

****

Some lesbians are vagitarians. Some are not.

One can be a lesbian without being a vagitarian. One can be a trans ally and be a vagitarian. Okay?

I'm not seeing anyone shaming womyn for being trans allies and vagitarians. I have seen a lot of womyn shaming other womyn for being lesbians without being vagitarians, and claiming lesbians aren't really lesbians if they are involved with trans womyn.
marjaerwin: (Default)
As a lesbian womon, I am tired of the pressure to make myself romantically and bodily available to men. In straight circles, other womyn have insisted that every womon is really heterosexual and I'm in denial. In queer circles, some womyn and some men have insisted that everyone is really pansexual and I'm in denial. I think it's important to have people and communities which respect our lesbian identities.

As a trans womon, I am tired of the messages that tell us that our bodies are wrong, no matter where we are on the healing process, or that our identities are wrong. I am tired of the messages that tell our sisters that if they are attracted to trans womyn, they aren't really lesbian, and I am tired of the messages that tell us that if we're attracted to non-trans womyn we're intruders and if we're attracted to other trans womyn we're fetishists. Or 'pretendbians.'

You know what? I don't think anyone should feel pressure to sleep with trans womyn, or to never sleep with trans womyn. I do think it's important to recognize the body-policing and body-devaluing and work against them. And I really think it's past time to stop devaluing each other's identities and stop saying someone isn't lesbian because she is, or isn't, attracted to certain womyn's bodies.

Anyway, there's a brief anti-inclusion mention of the controversy here: http://bugbrennan.com/2012/03/13/178/

And this is also relevant, although I think sexualization and desexualization are both major problems: http://gudbuytjane.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/dating-from-the-margins-1/

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marjaerwin: (Default)
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