Not Trans Enough – The Ugly Side of Being Trans

| Aug 6, 2018
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not trans enough

Only once before have I encountered a situation where I was not trans enough to be part of a group but it has happened again in a totally unexpected way. Now I identify as a mature crossdresser and transgender woman because I am married (42 years) and transitioning is simply not an option for me.

Although many transgender people do decide to medically transition, whether through hormone replacement treatment and/or gender reassignment surgery, there’s another significant portion of the transgender community who either can’t or don’t want to transition. Due to financial difficulties, medical complications, age, inability to come out or simply lack of desire to change their body. Actually I read somewhere that only 15% of transgender women actually transition (can’t cite reference however).

It would seem obvious that each individual determines if they are transgender or not and it’s a pretty large umbrella. In the 1996 classic The Man in the Red Velvet Dress: Inside the World of Cross-Dressing. J.J. Allen, a longtime crossdresser and past president of Powder Puffs of California, one of the world’s largest crossdresser support groups, provides an insider’s view of a world most of us have seen only on talk shows.

In her Table of Transvestism, she categorizes the trans spectrum into four main categories and 11 subtypes. The distinctive criteria is the emotional need to express an inner feminine self. The last two subtypes, the Transgenderist and the Transsexual are in the full-time woman category.

Ms Allen’s category of the Cosmetic CD has three subgroups from the closet CD to the social CD and is what I consider the mature or maturing CD. Given that most if not all transitioning women have gone through one of these earlier stages, it would seem there would be some understanding of the transitioning process and certainly our need to explore and express our femininity and the need for support from others as we take the journey.

Okay, the circumstances. I belong to a large number of crossdressing and transgender groups, mostly to learn and understand my community and to give back to the community through my many articles in Sister House. Facebook seems to be where many serious discussions take place now and information is exchanged, so while perusing my groups and looking for new groups, I ran across Transgender Women 40+ support family which is a support group for transgender women over the age of 39. Ahhhh! That seemed like a good fit since I am (way) over 39 and in fact have a special section on Sister House just for the older trans women called Femme d’Çertain Age. So I clicked the “Join” button. After checking back about a week later, I still hadn’t seen the approval, so I contacted one of the group admins, a lovely lady, and we had a most interesting conversation.

Here’s where the odyssey begins. First they wanted me to respond to several questions and have an interview. Joining trans Facebook groups used to be an automatic thing but I have noticed in the last half year that some groups are now asking questions. Usually it’s just a question if you are a CD or transgender and the purpose seems to be to keep out admirers (although not in all cases), fake profiles, trouble makers, radicals and people who are just not suited to the group. The interview was a first ever but I consented so I told the interviewer some of my history, my work with universities, my work with gender counselors, my website and my blogging.

We discussed the group rules mostly no political or religious posts and no promotional posts although she agreed that referring to Sister House articles in response to any subject being discussed was okay. The other somewhat confusing rule was trigger warnings. Never heard of them before and apparently they are a special feature of this group to warn the readers of a sensitive issue under discussion. Well okay but it seemed a little over the top for trans women not to be able to deal with sensitive issues given that most of us are faced with them at some time. If you have low self-esteem, you need to be warned.

My interviewer’s final comment was “Tasi, you’re in. I think you make a wonderful addition to our 40 + family”.

So I gave it a few minutes and went back to the group page only to learn that I was not yet approved. So back to my interviewer asking what is going on. Well it seems that the group owner, Tina Bailey, and several other admins overrode her decision and when I asked Tina directly about her decision, I was ignored.

So the question is why. Here are some of the responses I received from my interviewer. You decide.

I gather it’s the regular reference to crossdressers or crossdressing. Although it can be seen as transgender, I think the concern is that it could be a confusion to some in the group.

Our 40 + group is definitely for transgender woman. We don’t admit crossdressers.

Our group has always felt that there are other groups more suited to crossdressing.

Nobody has to transition to be transgender.

So there you have it. Another crossdresser hate group with a holier than thou attitude except this one purports to be a trans support group. I hope these 719 ladies are proud of themselves. Interestingly enough most of the admins are friends of my friends on Facebook

Mia Violet did a piece in The Huffington Post called Yes, You’re ‘Trans Enough’ to Be Transgender. She expressed it well when she said “When a person accuses someone of not being “trans enough” it is elitist, self-entitled, cruel-minded horse crap” Couldn’t have said it better.

Hannah Edelman wrote in Odyssey under the title ‘Not Trans Enough’ Is Not A Thing, And Insinuating Otherwise Is Dangerous” There is no such thing as being “trans enough,” and insinuating otherwise can be incredibly damaging. . . You wouldn’t tell someone with cancer that their disease isn’t legitimate enough to be taken seriously; telling someone that they aren’t “trans enough” is a sickness in and of itself.

And unfortunately, that sickness can be just as deadly

Shame on you, Tina Bailey

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Category: Transgender Opinion

tasidevil

About the Author ()

Tasi is transgendered, married, and a lifelong crossdresser. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Please visit her. Tasi’s new book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

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  1. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    An addendum. I posted this article to a number of Facebook groups and there were some interesting discussions. One group in particular, The Gender Society, had well over 100 replies and some of the language got so aggressive and heated, that the moderator deleted the thread and banned any similar threads. Apparently discourse is becoming uncivil

  2. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Ahh Graham. You should join the discussion over in The Gender Society. It’s like none I’ve seen before with its elitist attitudes. You would totally blow their minds. Not being part of the group is no big deal but I was annoyed and wanted to expose them for what they really were, starting with dishonest. We’re never going to get agreement on the term transgender now that the transsexuals have hijacked the term for themselves successfully thanks to the media interpretation of the term.

    The positive from the whole episode is that I made a new friend. Your point is well taken that where are we going if we continue to treat the different segments within the trans community as outcasts. So sad

  3. Graham Graham says:

    Ahhh, yes. “Transgender”. What does it actually mean? The more I hear people in the T-world arguing about this (and they do – endlessly), the more I wonder where the community believes it’s heading, and what its end-goal is supposed to be. When the key word they use to describe their own members has so many different meanings that no-one really knows what they’re referring to, how the hell do we think we’re ever going to educate the public at large about what we are? Hah – I said “we”, but am I allowed to use the term to describe myself? Well, yes – using the strict definition of “gender”, then “trans-gender” arguably fits me better than it fits a traditional crossdresser … and certainly better than it fits a full-time crossdresser or a transsexual! However, I choose not to describe myself as transgender simply because it’s so poorly defined … and because I have better things to do than argue the toss with pompous T-people who think they’re “more trans” than I am.

    But exactly where are we now that the word “sex” has been replaced by “gender” in pretty-much all aspects of life from the so-called “gender pay gap” to so-called “gender reassignment surgery”? In the latter case, how do you reassign someone’s gender when it’s a totally arbitrary, man-made, and flexible concept anyway? On a basic level, putting a bloke in a dress is sufficient to “reassign his gender”. Oh – you mean changing his sex? Well why didn’t you say that in the first place?!

    Speaking as someone who got kicked out of two so-called “crossdresser support groups” in the early 2000s because I “didn’t dress properly” and therefore wasn’t a “real crossdresser”, I can sympathise with your anger. But even though I was a relative newcomer on the scene, I had the confidence to say “screw you!”, and leave with my head held high. I didn’t need them, and you don’t need this Facebook group either.

    Clearly the admin, Ms Bailey, doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. The three conditions of membership which you cite for group membership are self-contradictory! If you felt like pursuing it, you should ask exactly what’s meant by the terms “transgender” and “crossdresser”, because I certainly don’t know anyone who fits all three under the “standard” definitions which most of us adhere to. Perhaps that’s why there are so few members? But if they want to be elitist and turn down people with your experience and knowledge because you don’t conform to their private niche vision of what a “transgender person” should be, then let them get on with it. It’s their loss.