about contrariness

Subject: about contrariness
Date: Tue 17 Nov 1998 - 18:25:32 GMT

"The whole point about transgender is about contrariness."

"No, it isn't! How dare you say such a thing?"

"As soon as a gender expression is accepted as normative, it's not contrary
any more, and therefore it's not transgender."

"That's ludicrous! People are still transgendered if they are normative!
Look at ex transsexuals, or crossdressers living as men!"

"A passing transsexual or a CD passing as a man for that matter, is now fixed
in gender. They are not being transgendered."

"Well, they have been or are at some time!"

"But by that definition, everyone is transgendered at some time in their
lives. I don't think they would agree with that, because whatever their
choices, they feel pretty fixed in a gender."

"What are you saying? That the only "true" transgendered people are the ones
who are not fixed in a gender?"

"Yup. They are the ones who refuse to allow themselves to be caught in a
gender, who, whenever they are trapped, turn contrary and run. People like
Riki, who when you agree with her, changes her argument."

"That's insane! I'm sure that fundamentalists would call even "normal" ex-
transsexuals and men-who-sometimes-wear-dresses transgendered."

"Actually, I suspect that they would just call them confused perverts. But
almost everyone has some bit of perversion, transgression in their life, like
I said before."

"You really think that the hallmark of being transgendered or not is how
contrary you are?"

"I think it's a key indicator, sure. People who aren't contrary to culture
aren't queer, aren't TG."

"That's so stupid! How can you say that? I'm TG and I'm not contrary to
everything you say!"

"Yes, you are."

"No, I'm not! I'm only contrary when you say something stupid!"

"So what do you believe in?"

"Well, I believe in freedom, the freedom to dissent, to claim you are not what
other people expect. I am not a homosexual and not straight, not a man and
not a woman, not a Christian and not an atheist, for example."

"OK, then, what are you?"

"I am transgendered!"

"And you define transgender as not being something else?"

"Sure. TG people claim freedom beyond labels and limits."

"So you are contrary to labels and limits?"

"I am not contrary to anything! I am my own person! Why do you keep saying
that I am contrary?"

"Well, somehow it just seems to me that trans-people are inherently contrary,
arguing with what they disagree with but never building agreement, because
when they build agreement, they become normative and stop being trans."

"Whew! You expect me to agree with that? Freedom is good!"

"Yes, freedom is good, but without some consistency, some order, we don't have
grounds for building the solid and lasting relationships that are the basis
for human community."

"I am a member of a community! How dare you say we don't have community!"

"What groups do you belong to? How many members and how much resources do
they have?"

"That's such hierarchical thinking! Organizations have to be fluid, allow
room for dissent, and that means that they are always in transition."

"Right. Transition, change, pushing away from the social order. It's all
contrariness to me."

"That's just stupid! We claim ourselves by defining who we are not! All this
'contrariness' you talk about is nothing but good, healthy human growth!"

"So what are you growing into? Aren't you growing into someone who knows who
you are, who isn't contrary?"

"Growth is a continual process! Why should we ever stop growing?"

"Because at some point, people need to clean up the messes they made in
change, to sort out all their rejections and figure out how their thinking
connects. They have to build something, and that requires thinking and belief
that is more than twisted, rejection based and contrary."

"The whole world hates us and you want to put us down by calling us contrary?
It reminds me of maggots in a barrel of rice, who, when the rice is gone,
begin to consume themselves! You are a maggot who wants to eat away community
by destroying it from the inside!"

"No, I am just suggesting that until we become flies and take responsibility
for our own lives, we will remain maggots, remain unthinking, destructive and

"It's people like you who don't value the real hardships and challenges that
transgendered people go though who are the real problem! You are contrary to
the health of all of us!"

"Does being contrary make me transgendered?"

"NO! NO! NO! Being contrary just makes you stupid! You just have these
twisted thoughts about what being transgendered is and want to impose them on
us, and I for one, refuse to go along with it! I refuse!"

"So you would say that you are contrary to my beliefs?"

"I wouldn't say anything at all about you and your cheap semantic tricks! You
don't understand!"

"OK. Then why don't you explain it to me. What is the key to being
transgendered, if it isn't being contrary to the norms?"

"Grrrrr! You make me so angry with all that talk. Being transgendered just
is, OK? I am TG and I know what it is, and if you need to ask all these
stupid questions about what it is, then that just proves to me that you aren't
transgendered and never will understand what it is!"

"Maybe there is a book or something I can read about it so I will understand
your beliefs."

"None of the books get it right, at least none of the books that I have read
anyway. Transgender just is! Don't you get it?"

"OK. I will tell people that, that 'transgender just is.'"

"Oh that's so stupid! Nobody will understand that! "transgender just is!'
You are just mocking me now, aren't you?"

"No, I really want to understand what you believe."

"No, you don't! You just want to much and humiliate me like everyone else in
my life has done! I'll tell you what I think of your smug attitude! You can
just shove it up your ass! I know about people like you, I have been around
them all my life and I will not put up with it."

"OK, that's fine. I have to say, though, that you sound a bit contrary to me
when you say that."

"There you go again! You are such a fool! How many times do I have to tell
you that I am not contrary?"


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