So, I finally got author status and I thought I'd use the opportunity of my first post to Groupthink to give a little background and talk about how my history as a trans woman informs my posting here and on Jezebel. I'm mostly speaking from my own experience and my experiences having been around the trans community for the last 11 years. I'll leave a lot of the more theory based arguments to Kyosuke since she seems to have a better handle on that kind of stuff.
Even though, I didn't post a lot under the old system, I still quite a while before I started talking about my past in my posts. I wanted to establish my identity as a person first without everything I wrote being filtered through the lens of "that trans girl's opinions". (I guess this really applies more to my posts on other sites than my posts here—most of what I wrote before the last few months was pretty unremarkable and I'm still not a well-known poster here). However, a lot of what I write here on my blog on Groupthink is probably going to relate to trans stuff in some way not because it's all I think about, but because this is really the main platform I have for writing about this stuff. I've mostly outgrown trans specific message boards and I'd really like to be part of the broader discussion on life and women's issues but I also want to be able to reference my past when it's relevant.
In my daily life, my history isn't much of an issue. My closest friends know, but casual acquaintances and the people I work for/with/in front of, don't know and that's the way it should be. That's why I transitioned, to have a regular life, not to be a poster transwoman.
It's true that I didn't grow up being socialized at a female. I didn't go through a lot of the angst and pressures that come with being a teenage girl, I don't menstruate and I won't ever have kids of my own. However, I did get involved in the trans community at 21 and started my transition at 23, a few months after graduating college and moving out of state (almost 10 years ago). Basically, I've lived my entire independent adult life as a woman.
I'm lucky in that my body size fits within female norms. I'm not saying I'm stunningly beautiful—I might actually pass better because I'm not—but I blend well enough that I deal with the same issues that most women have to deal with: I know what it's like to be worried walking alone at night, I get sexually harassed, I've had my chest and ass grabbed by strangers, I deal with street harassment, expectations of female beauty standards wreak havoc on my self-esteem, and I'm not taken as seriously as my male colleagues, even if I'm more skilled than them. The main difference is that I'm perfectly aware of how different it is for men.
I didn't create this account specifically to talk about trans stuff, but I decided to use this screen name in case I wanted to talk about trans issues. I've actually been using this screen name for anything that might involve talking about trans stuff since the halcyon days of Geocities (halcyon is a fun word to write). I have a career that I really like. It let's me travel the world and be in front of people, however, my past has no business in my work and I just don't want to risk people making trouble for me (weirdly the most vicious attacks attempting to destroy the lives of individual trans women come not from the right, but from *some* people calling themselves radical feminists).
So, that's me, hi everybody.