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Scylla Rhiadra

Naming Ourselves: Who Will Decide Who YOU Are?

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not sure if you are implying that she would be the target (nah), or that her's couldn't take any more (because it's already harmed to the limit, or that it would discourage harm, ether way, nah).

I'm a pragmatist... I'd aim for the RL source =| (which isn't Carole)

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

 

People who are happy being a "shemale" and wouldn't want it any other way -- which actually constitute the majority of trans women in societies that are accepting of a third gender, such as the Thai culture --

Please do not paint non-op MtF transgendered people with one broad brushstroke.  While it is true that there are lots of MtF non-ops, those that categorically "wouldn't want it any other way" are not the majority.  Most have medical or economic concerns/issues that prevent them/influence their decisions regarding undergoing vaginoplasty.  If it was simple as waving a magic wand to get a set of fully functional sexual genetilia and reproductive system that conform to their gender identity most non-ops wouldn't hesitate to use that magic wand.

Dagmar, I don't have any documented scientific surveys available so I can only offer my own experience. Given that my sample size is vanishingly small—I've talked to possibly 100 transgendered people in my whole life, including those I've met in SL, at most twice that—my experience matches Ishtara's comment. While I have met/talked to girls who either grew up hating or learned to hate the fact they were biologically male (or vice versa in a couple of cases) they've been at best 10% of my contacts, probably 5% or less. I admit that's anecdotal but short of a real study I'd agree with Ishtara.

 

In your last paragraph I think you omitted a word. I think you meant to say ".....it takes so little effort to acknowledge and respect the identity that most SL residents present for themselves that it's hard to fathom why some people go out of their way NOT to do so."

With that comment I am in complete agreement. I hope that your experience in Second Life approaches mine—people such as that are few and far between.

 

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

Dagmar, I don't have any documented scientific surveys available so I can only offer my own experience. Given that my sample size is vanishingly small—I've talked to possibly 100 transgendered people in my whole life, including those I've met in SL, at most twice that—my experience matches Ishtara's comment. While I have met/talked to girls who either grew up hating or learned to hate the fact they were biologically male (or vice versa in a couple of cases) they've been at best 10% of my contacts, probably 5% or less. I admit that's anecdotal but short of a real study I'd agree with Ishtara.

Let me clarify by pointing out 2 things.

First, there is a difference between a MtF transsexual and a MtF transgendered person.  The former covers those that by definition fulfill most (some will insist all) of the pathology set forth in the DSMV, which always includes a substantial amount of discomfort with having a female mind/indentity and a male body.  The latter covers a much broader group that includes people with gender identity issues such as gender queer, drag queens, fetishists and crossdressers.  If you are counting those in the latter broader category then it's not surprising if you find many people who have little to no discomfort about the fact that their body is male or that wouldn't have it any other way (almost all drag queens and crossdressers fall into this category).  However if you are talking about the former category,  then that simply doesn't comport to the reality of being a non-op transexxual.

Second, there is a big difference between coming to terms with the reality of one's situation as a non-op, being at peace with it, and even taking pride in the ability to face life every day as a non-op, and "not wanting it any other way."  All of the non-op transsexuals I know of (and I was in that category for several years) would opt for SRS if their related concerns could be addressed be they medical, economic, social or legal, but for most of them, those issues cannot be addressed with enough certainty and so they remain non-ops.  They are not self-loathing because of it.  I was comfortable with my situation as a non-op.  That hardly translates into preferring being born with male genitals over being born with female ones, and if you understand what transsexualism is, that's a very bizzare claim to make about the majority of transexxual women.


Dillon Levenque wrote:

In your last paragraph I think you omitted a word. I think you meant to say ".....it takes so little effort to acknowledge and respect the identity that most SL residents present for themselves that it's hard to fathom why some people go out of their way
NOT
to do so."

Yes, that's what I meant.

 

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

I agree, and I would never presume to do that. I'm not mother nature
:)
Only hindsight can tell what was viable and what turned out to be not.

Well, I don't believe you did so seriously, but you did hint that a particular individual might be a member of a certain group that will go extinct soon enough!

I share the frustration that drives such commentary but eventually bite my tongue because I seem to run into more of them every day. I skipped over the chance to reproduce, so my particular genes aren't going anywhere, but I also can't quite banish the thought that folks who share my disposition are also headed for extinction.

;-)

 

True, that was a bit out of line and probably also wishful thinking. For all I know, conservative and anti-liberal fundamentalists might outbreed liberal-minded people in the near future. After all, things like "be fruitful and multiply" and the reduction of women to their mere reproductive functions were probably the reason that patriarchal religions and the accompanying ultra-conservative, intolerant mindset have so strongly been selected for in the past.

Groups that still hold on to these archaic values in the modern day Western World appear to reproduce at a much faster rate than liberal intellectuals, and populations in less developed and consequently less liberal countries reproduce even faster. The countries that I see as the most enlightened and tolerant show negative birth rates by now. I guess this means that people like the delightful db are the future, but I hate to admit that.

 

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:

Please do not paint non-op MtF transgendered people with one broad brushstroke.  

 

I don't. That's exactly what I was complaining about. People who assume, and sometimes even demand, that all transsexuals must have a sex reassignment surgery as their final goal are the ones who are using the broad brush. People can hate their masculine body without hating the one part of it that can be the source of great physical pleasure, and without wanting to part with it or trade it for something of questionable functionality. 

 


While it is true that there are lots of MtF non-ops, those that categorically "wouldn't want it any other way" are not the majority.  Most have medical or economic concerns/issues that prevent them/influence their decisions regarding undergoing vaginoplasty.

How can you be sure of that? All we know for sure is that "shemales" are a lot more common than post-OP M2F transsexuals in countries such as Thailand, where an intermediate or third gender is more or less socially accepted. We can't know how many of them actually want a sex reassignment surgery (which is not a vaginoplasty btw. Vaginoplasty refers to cosmetic surgery such as a labia reduction, afaik).

We also can't know how many M2F trans women in the Western World only undergo surgery because Western societies would otherwise not accept them and regard them as sexual deviants, because their doctor / therapist suggests it, because their health insurance pays for it, and because they have unrealistic expecations about the end result.

 


It's a bit difficult to not take offense at that kind of characterization for SRS.  It's kind of like saying "...any form of expression as an African American other than by being a house n****r..."  It also reinforces the undesirable stereotype that post-op transexxuals are all sick people engaging in self-mutliation used by bigoted reactionary evangelical hatemongers.  I understand that you are about as far as can be from that category of people but some thought in choosing your words would have been appreciated.  :smileysad:

I agree that this came out wrong. I was only talking about transsexuals who are pressured into a sex reassignment surgery and only take this step because they would otherwise be denied a female social identity. (And even a female name in Germany, since names are required by law to be gender-specific and name changes are not easily permitted). 

Of course trans women who deeply and desperately desire an entirely female body are not trying to mutilate themselves. I'm sorry if my comment seemed to suggest that. But as you said yourself, it's not as simple as waving a magic wand to get a set of fully functional sexual genetilia and reproductive system. It's sadly impossible. The current surgical solution with its great risk of post-surgical complications comes closer to mutilation than to an actual sex reassignment. Still, I can see that people who need to take this step in order to be able to feel comfortable in their own body have no other option and do not seek to harm themselves.   

 

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:

Let me clarify by pointing out 2 things.

First, there is a difference between a MtF transsexual and a MtF transgendered person.  The former covers those that by definition fulfill most (some will insist all) of the pathology set forth in the DSMV, which always includes a substantial amount of discomfort with having a female mind/indentity and a male body.  The latter covers a much broader group that includes people with gender identity issues such as gender queer, drag queens, fetishists and crossdressers.  If you are counting those in the latter broader category then it's not surprising if you find many people who have little to no discomfort about the fact that their body is male or that wouldn't have it any other way (almost all drag queens and crossdressers fall into this category).  However if you are talking about the former category,  then that simply doesn't comport to the reality of being a non-op transexxual.

Second, there is a big difference between coming to terms with the reality of one's situation as a non-op, being at peace with it, and even taking pride in the ability to face life every day as a non-op, and "not wanting it any other way."  All of the non-op transsexuals I know of (and I was in that category for several years) would opt for SRS if their related concerns could be addressed be they medical, economic, social or legal, but for most of them, those issues cannot be addressed with enough certainty and so they remain non-ops.  They are not self-loathing because of it.  I was comfortable with my situation as a non-op.  That hardly translates into preferring being born with male genitals over being born with female ones, and if you understand what transsexualism is, that's a very bizzare claim to make about the majority of transexxual women.

I don't know if I would list drag queens, fetishists and crossdressers as people with gender identity issues. Some might be at odds with their traditional gender role, but at least for fetishists and cd's, it's usually either about temporarily transforming oneself into one's object of desire or being sexually attracted to traditionally female clothes. Think of latex or rubber fetishists. Some might wish they really were a latex doll, but most simply enjoy feeling the material on their skin.

Anyway, there definitely are M2F transsexuals who don't identify as biological males, grew up hating their male body and sought to feminize themselves to a large degree, identify with the female gender role and officially live as women, but still feel very attached to their male genitalia. I mean, that thing can really grow on people :)

You might choose to call them transgender rather than transsexuals, but transgender is a bit of an umbrella term without a clear definition. As far as I'm concerned, these people qualify as transsexuals in all regards, with the one exception that they have either arranged themselves or were never at odds with this one single aspect of their biological gender. Like Dillon, I have met more non-OP and "do-not-want-OP" trans women than M2F transsexuals who desire a 100% transition. 

 

PS: Another common misperception is that trans women are heterosexual according to their gender identity, or in other words biologically homosexual. Most that I have talked to were either bisexual or biologically hetero, i.e. attracted to women, and some were mainly attracted to fellow trans women. Sexual identity says nothing about sexual orientation. (That's another problem with the German legal situation btw. M2F transsexuals who are married to women are required to get divorced in order to legally live as women, even if the couple has children). 

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I think places like Thailand, India, and Iran are probably not the best examples for comparison to western (non) acceptance.

while goalposts like surgical availability are lower*, the socioeconomic bars tend to be much higher. and while their existence is more acceptable, their social standing isn't and it's nearly impossible to rise above. in fact that seems to play a large part in their more general acceptance... because social standing is so strict in those places, anything that equates to a voluntary lowering of that status is acceptable....

*=you'll also note that because of the allowed one way nature of changing social standing, that it is mostly MtFs that have better access, since another feature of these cultures is a much stronger male dominance of social standing. gay folks tend to see a little bit to a lot less social standing/mobility compared to (for example) the US, but less state resistance in the first two, and absolute state resistance in the third... on a whole they less opportinty to advance, but more ability to influence eventual change.

 

mind, I'm no expert, but I do have a vested interest in reactions to the queer superset, because duh, I'm in it, and have friends in all aspects.

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True. There is also the fact that many kathoeys in Thailand work as prostitutes, which in part explains their social acceptance. They often earn enough to financially support their parents and extended family, which is why economically poor parents are very supportive when they notice that their little boy prefers to play with dolls and probably guide him in this direction.

It might be that some kathoeys would have grown up to be gays with a 100% male gender identity in a Western country. But I very much doubt that they would have had an easier childhood and adolescence. Personally, as a bi and somewhat gender-confused person who all peers and family members mistook for being gay, I sometimes wish I had grown up in a place with a third gender role and sexuality template.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

I don't. That's exactly what I was complaining about. People who assume, and sometimes even demand, that all transsexuals must have a sex reassignment surgery....


No, you were complaining about people who assume one thing about transsexuals (valid) while asserting your own broad assumptions about the majority of transsexuals (not valid).


All we know for sure is that "shemales" are a lot more common than post-OP M2F transsexuals in countries such as Thailand, where an intermediate or third gender is more or less socially accepted.


Even if we were to assume that was all that is known, based on that very premise, it is extremely flawed reasoning to conclude that the reason why non post-op MtF transsexuals outnumber post-op transsexuals is because they prefer to have male genitalia over female genitalia.  Many of them are pre-op and not non-op (while SRS is much more affordable in Thailand by western standards Thai salaries are proportionately lower so it still takes many Thai transsexuals years to save money for SRS), and there are a host of other factors that are relevant including that many feel that they are incapable of maintaining their level of income without continuing to work in the sex industry as ladyboys, that SRS does not afford any legal rights for MtF transsexuals in Thailand, and a myriad of other reasons that are unique to Thai society.


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

We also can't know how many M2F trans women in the Western World only undergo surgery because Western societies would otherwise not accept them and regard them as sexual deviants, because their doctor / therapist suggests it, because their health insurance pays for it, and because they have unrealistic expecations about the end result.

 

No legitimate transgender therapist, psychiatrist or physician is going to push a transgendered person who is not a transsexual into SRS.  Quite the opposite is true.  Part of the whole point of the the medical community following the Standards of Care is to screen out people who should not undergo SRS.

No doctor in the United States is going to even consider SRS without at least one letter of support and many require 2, 3 or even 4 letters (1 from a therapist, 1 from an endo, 1 from a psych and 1 from primary care physician)

Health insurance in the United States does not cover SRS for most candidates.  While some health plans offer it as an option, very few employers adopt the option, and the conditions to qualify under medicare are so onerous that it is extremely rare that SRS will qualify for medicare coverage.

The last factor you mentioned however is worth noting and is one of the primary reasons why non-op transexxuals decline to undergo SRS.  Unfortunately many transsexuals do have a false notion that somehow SRS is going to make all or most of the negative issues they have to deal with as a transsexual disappear when the reality is that the only thing SRS guarantees in countries like the US is that you get legal status.  Discrimination, bigotry and companionship issues don't go away with SRS and it results in regret/remorse by some transsexuals when they come to this realization (and suicide for some).  This coupled with a few other factors has a lot more to do with why many non-ops decline SRS even though they would otherwise qualify for it.  Given that this is a PG forum, I really can't go into detail regarding the other factors or why stating that a desire to hold on to boy bits is an inaccurate mischaracterization as to why non-ops decline SRS.  It does have to do with losing something but it isn't the original equipment design.

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:

No, you were complaining about people who assume one thing about transsexuals (valid) while asserting your own broad assumptions about the majority of transsexuals (not valid).

Agreed. I can see that Thailand was a bad example. However, I've also based my comment on people I've talked to in SL, in forums, and on transgender dating sites like Travesta.de. I believe that transsexuals who are content to be non-OP trans women are more common than people think.

 


No legitimate transgender therapist, psychiatrist or physician is going to push a transgendered person who is not a transsexual into SRS.  Quite the opposite is true.  Part of the whole point of the the medical community following the Standards of Care is to screen out people who should not undergo SRS.

No doctor in the United States is going to even consider SRS without at least one letter of support and many require 2, 3 or even 4 letters (1 from a therapist, 1 from an endo, 1 from a psych and 1 from primary care physician)

Health insurance in the United States does not cover SRS for most candidates.  While some health plans offer it as an option, very few employers adopt the option, and the conditions to qualify under medicare are so onerous that it is extremely rare that SRS will qualify for medicare coverage.

I can only speak for the situation in Germany. Around here, sex reassignment therapy including SRS is paid for by the public health insurances if a medical professional decides that it is a medical necessity (due to depression etc.) In order to be approved for hormone replacement therapy, which is the first and sometimes the only goal, people pretty much need to show their willingness and desire to go all the way. In addition, SRS is the only way to get a female first name and legal female status.

That is the pressure I was talking about. Unless German trans women completely reject all aspects of their biological gender, they can't easily get HRT and will never be able to live as a woman since they are stuck with a name like Richard or Dieter. Which perfectly fits the topic, because this means that they don't get to choose their own label, their own identity, or even their own name. Either they want a complete sex reassignment or they can't possibly be transsexuals, so the medical opinion.

Those who want to be halfway there (like Miriam Rivera, whom you mentioned in another thread) are thought to be fetishists and supposed to seek a different kind of therapy for what is still thought to be a disorder. Not only that, they are also faced with rejection and sometimes outright hatred by a part of the German trans community. 

If I understand you correctly, the situation in the USA is similar insofar that legal female status also requires SRS? Don't you think that is a certain amount of pressure to opt for surgery even if a trans person has second thoughts? 

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Ishtara, this reply is not specifically to you, but to all who have participated in this part of the thread topic.  While I an not familiar with many of the issues you and others have written about here regarding gender identity, I am pleased that it is taking place here on SLF.

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Scylla Rhiadra wrote:


Josephina Bonetto wrote:

It's not just sexuality or sexual identity, I am "out" as Bipolar 2 Rapid Cycling as my avatar but it's on a need-to-know basis in RL.  If I was outed in RL my world wouldn't end.  While I want to tell people in RL there is never really a right time for that conversation, and I have no real patience for other peoples prejudices.

My sexuality and gender are the same in both lives.

I think that this is every bit as relevant as the issues surrounding sexuality and gender. 
Again, I see SL as a place where we can confront the prejudices that are inherent in the act of "naming" and categorizing, and foster tolerance and understanding. In large measure, the very indeterminacy of SL has an active role in that. 
Someone who has known you here forever without knowing you were bipolar might well be astonished to find out. The effect would surely be to educate that person about the nature of the condition?

SL promotes privacy, anonymity, and non-disclosure.  If as a virtual society, we learn...what are we really 'learning'...blind tolerance?  Ignorance is bliss?  Although I very much understand what you are getting at here, I'm not sure how, to any significant degree, it is an issue in SL.  Rarely do I see individuals post their RL picture in their profiles and in the event their RL photo is a gender different than their avatar, I address them and treat them in a manner consistent with what they present their cartoon as.  99% of the time the only defining cues are avatar name, skin, shape and hair choice.  For most old timers in SL, I think you just come to accept that what you see is not always what you get and unless you are here looking for a romance that will hopefully move to RL...you simply enjoy engaging with people and gender is not a consideration.  Until evidence is provided to the contrary, I just label everyone-Human Being....because that is the only thing I KNOW for sure.

I suppose that on a rare occasion, an intolerant individual may learn that they were engaging with someone that they would have otherwise protested against--it would be interesting to know how many times that evolves into tolerance and acceptance...as opposed to a feeling of betrayal and deception and just something else for an intolerant individual to add to his list of "reasons why I hate __________,"  

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You know, you have a very valid point there. Since we all know that anybody can claim to be anything in here, I’m not sure I’d totally digest a lecture on the hardship of having to live with racial issues only because the avatar in question sports a black skin. Maybe the operator is white and just role-playing a black rights activist. Maybe the president of SL Movement for the Rights of Shemales is just a randy male trying to get his kicks by having boobs of his own which he can unveil any moment he wants a peek. Maybe the militant MtoF avatar with an operator who claims to be a FtoM TG in RL is an out-of-work 19 year old with a lot of imagination and way too much time on their hands. Maybe even, the lesbian is actually a RL man who is into girl-on-girl stuff!!!

The truly dangerous down-side of believing claims to credentials is when they say they’re doctors, counsellors, etc. I think it was Pep who used to repeat “Believe nobody!”. He was dead right. Wonder what happened to old Pep – haven’t seen him around in ages….

So, as you and also the haiku-writing guy said, why should I assume anybody in here is qualified to teach me anything just because they claim they are…and, I would add, why on earth, in a place where people come to relax and get away from their RL crosses to bear, should they feel obliged to bear the burden of educating others by laying their own sufferings on the table? In a video game???

We can see where it got the girl who mentioned her bipolar condition. Insulted. That’s where it got her.

To Scylla – in a place where everybody gets to choose their names and their gender and their age and their appearance, maybe we should just pretend to accept whatever label people decide to stick on themselves, without ever questioning it publicly, even when the label in question belongs to a “public figure” (or labels themselves as such). In private we can always draw our own conclusions.

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Carole, I'm gonna toot my own horn here. You and Ima are right, but I used fewer words to say it!



Scylla Rhiadra wrote:

It's one's performance, not one's labels, that interest me.

And I replied:

Yep but, as in the Olympics, shouldn't degree of difficulty figure into the score?

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Carole, I'm gonna toot my own horn here. You and Ima are right, but I used fewer words to say it!


Scylla Rhiadra wrote:

It's one's performance, not one's labels, that interest me.

And I replied:

Yep but, as in the Olympics, shouldn't degree of difficulty figure into the score?

 

Oh, hey. You were being waaaaay too metaphorical for me. I only understand Haikunese these days.

 

Had you written

it

like this,

then maybe I’d have got

it.

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Carole Franizzi wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Carole, I'm gonna toot my own horn here. You and Ima are right, but I used fewer words to say it!


Scylla Rhiadra wrote:

It's one's performance, not one's labels, that interest me.

And I replied:

Yep but, as in the Olympics, shouldn't degree of difficulty figure into the score?

 

Oh, hey. You were being waaaaay too metaphorical for me. I only understand Haikunese these days.

 

Had you written

it

like this,

then maybe I’d have got

it.

 

I do not come here

To make life easy for you

I come here to be

 

 

I learned at the TooDeeLoo Caribou School of Haiku, you?

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Carole Franizzi wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Carole, I'm gonna toot my own horn here. You and Ima are right, but I used fewer words to say it!


Scylla Rhiadra wrote:

It's one's performance, not one's labels, that interest me.

And I replied:

Yep but, as in the Olympics, shouldn't degree of difficulty figure into the score?

 

Oh, hey. You were being waaaaay too metaphorical for me. I only understand Haikunese these days.

 

Had you written

it

like this,

then maybe I’d have got

it.

 

I do not come here

To make life easy for you

I come here to be

 

 

I learned at the TooDeeLoo Caribou School of Haiku, you?

Yeah, but no, but yeah

But don’t blame me

if

I think yer talkin’

about

ice-skating

Gerrit?

 

Me, I went to the Vicky Pollard Institute for Oriental Literature...

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Regardless of what some might think, Miriam is not a fetishist.  I knew her when she lived in my neck of the woods and her reasons for not wanting surgery are archetypal for the transsexuals I know that are otherwise qualified for SRS but decline to undergo or defer SRS .  She:  (i) is young; (ii) is educated; (iii) presents as a very attractive woman and can easily go stealth in her everyday environments; (iv) has the support of her family and friends; (v) has a very healthy appetite for sex; (vi) enjoys a very active sex life with access to an appreciable amount of potential attractive playmates; (vii) understands that SRS is not going to open many more doors for her (basically legal status only); and (viii) has some degree of anxiety and concerns about SRS resulting in a serious decline in sex drive and the ability to enjoy sex (the big "O") or worse (having serious medical and health complications).

The number of transsexuals that match this profile are not in the majority.  They are not even close to a majority.  While almost all young transsexuals have some degree of anxiety about the loss sex drive and the ability to enjoy sex , it's simply not an important enough factor for most to offset the intense desire for body conformity.

It's also important to note 2 other things about Miriam.  Like me, Miriam is technically not a non-op.  She's chosen to defer making a choice indefinitely.  Unlike me, she has not developed any highly marketable skills to earn a living other than the skills of an escort and actress in the sex industry.  When you add that factor to all of the above, and a choice between undergoing SRS and not having any appreciable income, and foregoing it to maintain to retain a niche clientele (men with a transsexual fetish AKA tranny chasers) who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars per hour for your services, it's not hard to understand why Miriam has chosen to forego SRS.

In the United States having gender status changed on a federal issued government ID, such as a passport, is not possible unless you have SRS.  As for driver licenses and other state issued identification, before the September 11th attacks, some states did allow pre-ops to get a gender change on their identification if they could produce letters from a therapist or psychiatrist stating that they were a candidate for SRS and a doctor's letter affirming they had been scheduled for SRS.  Since 9/11 AFAIK this is not the case in any state, and SRS is required for a gender change on your state issued identification.  However, having your name changed is possible and, depending on the state, it can be quite easy.  That being said, knowing many transsexuals and indirectly knowing thousands of other transexxuals through them, I can tell you that legal status is not the driving force for seeking SRS in the United States, body conformity is.

 

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Carole Franizzi wrote:

Maybe the president of SL Movement for the Rights of Shemales is just a randy male trying to get his kicks by having boobs of his own which he can unveil any moment he wants a peek. 

Not that I'm the president of any kind of civil rights movement, but since I wrote about some TG and TS issues in this thread and happen to be "just" a gender-bending male who enjoys having virtual curves for whatever invalid and disgusting reason, I kind of feel addressed by this quip. You're completely right, I should stop posting about problems that I only know from other people's accounts since I'm "just" a randy male and not a randy TS (whatever the "just" means in this context).

Ultimately, this also goes for white black rights activists (who you already mentioned), bi- and heterosexual gay rights activists, Relay for Life organizers who never had cancer, or male feminists. Heck, even for female feminists who never had to suffer through everything they're trying to raise awareness for. I mean, who is qualified to talk about things like female genital mutilation but the victims? Who has the right to openly support gay marriage other than gay people? Others have never walked a mile in their shoes. Of course they don't have to be indifferent, but they shouldn't presume to speak (up) for others.

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Carole Franizzi wrote:

The truly dangerous down-side of believing claims to credentials is when they say they’re doctors, counsellors, etc. I think it was Pep who used to repeat “Believe nobody!”. He was dead right. Wonder what happened to old Pep – haven’t seen him around in ages….

.

Really?  Fearful of avatar surgeries going dreadfully wrong and fake attorneys not being able to win the cartoon malpractice suit? lol.

 

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Dagmar Heideman wrote:

Regardless of what some might think, Miriam is not a fetishist.  

 

I would never think that. I said that German medical practicioners would judge her to be a fetishist for not wanting to undergo SRS. Personally, I think that everybody who identifies as a trans woman has the right to call themselves a trans women.

Anyway, as Carole has hinted, randy males like myself shouldn't talk about the concerns of a group that they don't belong to, so I probably should stop doing that :) And since I never had the pleasure to make Miriam Rivera's acquaintance, I only know her published statements and can't discuss her private motives.

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Well, since you’re not the president of any kind of civil rights movement, and since the last I heard you were a elf, not a shemale (who I thought were human), gender-confused and not a transgendered anything (actually, I’m pretty sure you specified bisexual male with a strong preference for females in that last loooooooooooong discussion we had), and – get this – since I didn’t even read any of your posts in this thread in order to avoid getting sucked into more endless discussions, why, oh, why do you feel I was talking about you??? Or are you upset because Auntie Carole didn’t answer one of your posts and you think she doesn’t love you anymore. Auntie Carole was avoiding you like the plague so as to avoid having one of our mega-discussions, but she still loves you to bits.

Interesting point you might want to stick in your pipe and smoke. One of my alts is a shemale, sometimes male. That makes me an SL gender-bender too. The “just”, in this case, would refer to my personal experimentations in gender-swapping and me not being elevated to the status of official spokesperson for TG people in RL, SL or on the Moon. Doncha think?

I’m sticking to my guns about SL “activists”, “spokespeople” and “experts”. Let me see your credentials first THEN I’ll treat you as what you claim to be.

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