VIDEO: Are You a Man Or a Woman?

Elisabeth Garber-Paul

Whenever someone inadvertently finds out that my brother is transgendered, the slew of questions inevitably begins. “Why did he transition? What was he like as a girl? Did you think there was something wrong with him?”

Whenever someone
inadvertently finds out that my brother is transgendered, the slew of questions
inevitably begins. “Why did he transition? What was he like as a girl? Did you
think there was something wrong with him?” I assumed that people tended to think
that, since they’re questioning me about my brother—and not about myself—they
could ask anything that popped into their head. “He’s happier now than he was
as a woman,” I usually say. “And as long as he’s happy, he can identify as a
wood nymph for all I care.”

 

“There are a bunch of presumptuous questions
that transgender people get asked all the time by folks with no business asking
about our personal lives. Many of them are based on acceptance of the
compulsory gender binary and the belief that the gender we were assigned at
birth is our "real" gender. Asking such questions without permission
packs the dehumanizing and othering assumption that transgender folk have a
responsibility to educate cisgender folk. Being
in the position to be educated about someone else’s identity is a form of
privilege, as those with the most power are not asked to explain their life
experience since it has been posited as the norm.”

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Well said. I have never once been questioned
on what it’s like to be a woman with a vagina who is interested in men, even by
my queer friends and family. And the attached video, “2 Hot Transsexuals
Finally Give Some Answers!", features Life Coaches Charles and Red sharing
fantastic responses to inappropriate questioning by strangers.

For example, “Are you male or female?" results in a confident, “I
have a c**t so, that makes me a man.”

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