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Trans folk, please chime in! Cis allies, please read!

Discussion in 'People & Cultures' started by croc, May 15, 2018.

  1. croc

    croc Wayfarer

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    While scrolling the "solo female travelers" thread I saw a discussion was sparked in the comments about whether saying female bodied is rude to trans masculine or nonbinary peeps, and whether the experiences of trans women who aren't out or aren't assumed to be women by people in public should be included in the thread.
    So I took that more to mean "Hey, people who are typically perceived as women by society, how safe do u feel without someone who's typically perceived as a guy?"
    That seems kinda long-winded though and maybe we should discuss what terms could be most inclusive and accurate for what someone might be saying or asking. Also maybe some users would like to learn more about this topic.
    My go to terms for avoiding "female/male bodied"
    • AFAB/AMAB- Assigned female/male at birth. This one can distinguish the anatomy someone started life with, but doesn't always represent their current anatomy (if they've had surgery or hormones)
    • XX/XY bodied- same as above but completely cuts out the use of the words male and female
    So the above terms are ways to discuss anatomy, but aren't so useful when discussing someone's experiences based on how they're socially perceived (fuck the term "passing" in my opinion). Usually I use and have seen these terms used to help clarify what part of the trans community you might be talking about. For example, we can say trans man or trans woman but then we're leaving out trans folk who don't identify as specifically men or women, like nonbinary people. So saying "afab trans people" is my way of including nonbinary peeps in a discussion about what trans men might experience based on their given anatomy. And of course same for amab.

    When discussing how someone's treated based on how they're perceived, what do you (mostly directed at trans users, but I won't get upset if educated cis people respectfully chime in) think could be said? Is people who are usually "perceived as women" or "perceived as men" wrong or upsetting to any trans people on here?
     
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  2. IAmThePoisonIvy

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    Yeah dude, fuck passing. It’s a toxic goal
     
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  3. dumpsternavel

    dumpsternavel Vagabond

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    I always thought that afab, and female bodied basically summed up the same thing- Speaking of anatomical generalizations by the public. What people perceive you as, physically. Not necessarily what you are, or identify as.

    I'm not trans, but I am non-binary. I find myself using the term female, or male bodied more than afab, or amab in conversations because assigned female at birth, etc. is a lot of words.
     
  4. Cornelius Vango

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    I think afab and amab are just as unwieldy as saying female or male bodied... I guess since it's a new idea to our culture, some things should be talked about and defined in more simple short-hand terms... What those terms should or could be, I've been trying to figure out for awhile. Maybe looking at other cultures that recognize more genders than the binary we are trained to recognize would be a good start.

    Female/male presenting, afab and amab, transgender are all great workable terms, but they still are limited by the binary. Genderqueer is a great umbrella term but is also based on cis-normativity, and doesn't address the specifics of the genderqueer person. Is it important to have shorthand terms to define every manifestation of gender and sexuality? I guess it probably is... but like the folks who embody these identities, it's hard to figure out how.
     
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  5. Cornelius Vango

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    How nice would it be to live in a world in which we're all just individual humans seen for our abilities and expression rather than being defined for the organs we have or would like to have.
     
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  6. EphemeralStick

    EphemeralStick Dusty Lil Van 'Mo
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    Those definitions are what give us marginalized groups our power. There is strength in embracing an identity for yourself and solidarity in finding those who define themselves similarly.

    A world that doesn't recognize those definitions is the one we've already had to grow up in. And that world sucks.
     
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  7. Cornelius Vango

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    But some marginalized groups are harder to define, is what I'm trying to get at.
     
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  8. EphemeralStick

    EphemeralStick Dusty Lil Van 'Mo
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    @Cornelius Vango

    Then it's up to us to learn from those specific marginalized groups that we find hard define what they themselves wish to be defined as. It's not hard, all it takes is the willingness to get to know the person.

    On the opposite side of the coin we as queer individuals need to be willing to perform the exhausting task of educating people on what our definitions are and why they are important to us on a near daily basis. You never really stop coming out after the first time.
     
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    #8 EphemeralStick, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  9. Cornelius Vango

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    Truer words have never been spoken, friend.


    I suppose but for people who aren't sure, fluid or prefer not to be defined there's got to be some wiggle room as well or the terms and definitions may unintentionally be restricting or uninclusive.
     
  10. EphemeralStick

    EphemeralStick Dusty Lil Van 'Mo
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    I don't understand what you mean by wiggle room. If someone is more fluid they'll tell you that they're more fluid. If someone isn't sure what they are they'll tell you that they aren't sure. If someone prefers not to be defined they'll tell you just that, they don't want to be defined by gender. There does not have to be a term for people who don't want/know a term, that's the flipping point of it.

    Why do you want to decide for other people what they want to be called? Because you don't want people to be uninclusive? That's a paradoxical statement. Inclusion is letting people figure themselves out on their own and accepting them for who they find themselves to be, not figuring out for them how they fit into your concept of who they are.
     
  11. Cornelius Vango

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    Okay, but I'm not talking about other people, I'm talking about me. I don't know how to tell you what I am.
     
  12. EphemeralStick

    EphemeralStick Dusty Lil Van 'Mo
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    That's something for you to figure out and when you do you know we'll be accepting and supportive. Also don't think whatever you decide is set in stone, figuring yourself out is a lifetime process.
     
  13. Cornelius Vango

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    Yeah, so I think we're trying to make the same points here for the most part. It is important to learn the vocabulary and to be aware of what people identify themselves as (and in my opinion, default to non-gendered language until it becomes clear what the situation is), but when you place focus on identifying what category a person would place themself under, it makes folks who are still questioning or maybe don't care to define themselves feel less... I dunno... valid?

    Obviously, there's a lot of other points here to address, but what the original post was trying to get at I think is whether it's appropriate to call somebody by their gender-assigned-at-birth as a way to identify their physical situation and the way that society at large will treat them...

    I think that if a person identifies themself as afab or amab, that's descriptive information and necessary in certain situations but unless you know a person well or are that person, you can't really know any of that info for sure so it's an assumption. Feminine/masculine-appearing, feminine/masculine-presenting seems to be more widely useable terms to describe someone you don't know without assuming, but again, this is all binary. Gender-ambiguous, androgynous and gender-neutral appearing are good descriptive terms outside of the binary genders for describing a stranger's looks without assuming too much.
     
    #13 Cornelius Vango, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018