Terminology

Natalie Reed says: Cis people get genders, we only get “gender identities”. They get pronouns, we get “preferred pronouns”. They ARE, we “identify as”.

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Coming out as transgender

Here are some tips for coming out as transgender. I’ve listed only stuff that are usually not covered in the other guides on the internet. These are biased towards my social circle, modify them as required.

  1. If you are the weaker person in a power imbalance, for instance a chronically abusive environment, the fix the power imbalance before coming out. Why? Because the more power you have at your environment, the less likely you are to face abuse on coming out.
  2. For coming out to any group of people, like family/work/etc., instead of coming out to them all at once, come out to them individually in private, and ask them to keep it a secret. Once they’ve had enough time to digest the information, come out to the group as a whole. Why? This will allow you to control their reactions, and prevent the group from ganging up against you.
  3. Start early, and come out gradually. Start by coming out as gender dysphoric, and say that you are seeing a professional for it. Gradually discuss what you plan to do about it, maybe passing your plans as the professional’s recommendations. Even if you plan to present as your actual gender, do not reveal this too early. Why? People are generally more accepting of things that they’ve had more time to process.
  4. If you are doing hormone therapy, hair removal, etc., maybe start it before coming out to parents/colleagues. Why? If you establish an androgynous look, people think that you will cis-pass easily, they will usually be more accepting of you.

If you’re okay with sacrificing some authenticity for acceptance, here are a few more tips. I’ve separated these out as they are triggering or otherwise unacceptable to many trans people, as pointed to in the first comment.

  1. Do not come out using the word “transgender”, use the word “male” or “female” instead. Why? Because the word “transgender” has very negative connotations for a lot of people. For instance, many people think that trans people are sex workers, and that sex work is evil, therefore trans people are evil. Also, a common misconception is that all transgender people belong to a gender outside of the male/female binary, which is a problem for binary trans people.
  2. If you are nonbinary, consider coming out as binary transgender instead. For instance, if you are male-assigned, come out as female. Why? Because many people are not aware of nonbinary genders, and will be more accepting of binary trans people than of nonbinary people.
  3. If you are coming out as nonbinary, prefer “they” as nonbinary pronoun. Why? “They” is the most widely accepted nonbinary pronoun. You will probably get better results asking for they/them pronouns, rather than your preferred pronouns.

Homosexuality and Psychiatry

Timeline of removal of homosexuality from DSM:

  1. 1952: DSM I listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance.
  2. 1968: DSM II reclassified homosexuality as a sexual deviancy. Gay protestors began picketing the APA annual conventions.
  3. 1973: It was decided to replace homosexuality by “sexual orientation disturbance” in DSM III. This was passed in a referendum with 58% approval in 1974.
  4. DSM III replaced homosexuality with “ego-dystonic sexual orientation”.
  5. “Ego-dystonic sexual orientation” was removed from DSM III-R.

Many medical professionals continue to be homophobic, and the problem is far from solved.

Nonbinary People and Asexuality: Roundup

Here is the roundup of posts for the January 2015 Carnival of Aces, about nonbinary people and asexuality. Thanks for submitting!

  1. Genderless and Asexual: Two Interconnected Identities by Cinderace
  2. Not Understanding vs Not Wanting to Understand – There is a Difference by Ettina
  3. Boxes: Why Pick Just One? by Sciencings
  4. All I Want to Be is a Whole Person: On Being Intergender and Asexual by Stormy Rose
  5. Notes on Non-binary Aroace & Queer Assailability… as Queerspawn by Rotten Zucchinis
  6. Nonbinary Butch by The Thinking Asexual
  7. Bidimensional Models for Asexuality and Gender Identity by Isaac

Next month’s carnival is on Cross Community Connections.

Preventing Abuse

I faced chronic abuse (physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect) as a child. In this post, I’m discussing techniques to protect oneself from abuse. Two major strategies are:

  1. Making oneself less susceptible to abuse.
  2. Getting away from the abuser.

You might want to give your abuser another chance. Maybe they are abuse victims passing on the abuse, or you believe they are really good at heart, or they are family, or you believe they can change, etc. It may be better to fortify yourself from abuse instead of getting away from the abuser.

But keep in mind that you do not owe the abuser a second chance. Even if the abuser is an ex-victim passing on abuse, or whatever the mitigating factors are, the decision to stay with them should not involve you sacrificing your well-being.

There are advantages of fortifying yourself from abuse instead of getting away from the abuser. Many people, especially those who have faced child abuse, have difficulty in identifying abuse, and in protecting themselves from abuse. Many of them end up getting chronically abused as adults. If you fit this pattern, you might want to use an abuser to learn how to identify abuse, and protect yourself. You can decide later whether to get away from them. This strategy can fix your long-term vulnerabilities. But do make sure that things don’t go out of control.

Transition and Gender Identity

Many people, confuse transition and being transgender.

One do not need to take any steps to transition to be transgender. Taking more effort to transition does not make one more transgender than someone who takes lesser effort.

If one take less effort to transition, they are more likely to be misgendered, but it is not their fault, it is a fault of society.

If one present visibly outside the binary (like Conchita Wurst), they are likely to be face violence and hostility, again, it is not their fault, it is a fault of society.

Post-transition transgender people face societal pressure to be heterosexual. In terms of numbers, a larger fraction of transgender people are homosexual, asexual, skoliosexual, etc. than cisgender people.

Ironically, social pressure to conform to the gender binary is stronger for post-transition transgender people than for cisgender people.

I find that I face a lot of social pressure in my transition. To counter this, for every step I take to transition, I first decide whom I am doing it for: for myself, or for societal acceptance.

Nonbinary People and Asexuality

Submissions are invited for January 2015’s Carnival of Aces about nonbinary people and asexuality. Possible topics include nonbinary experiences of asexuality, and asexual attraction towards nonbinary people.

A blog carnival is an event in which many people write blog posts around a single theme. These posts are then collected at the end of the carnival and linked together by the carnival’s host.

To submit a post, put it up on your blog, and write a comment to this post with the URL of your post. If you do not have a blog, but want to submit a post, I am willing to host guest posts here. Posts can be submitted up to the end of January 2015, at which point I will round up all the submissions.

Alternate forms of media are welcome. If you are not sure whether your piece is okay, submit it anyway and I will figure it out.

Also, help me out by signal boosting this call for submissions, in nonbinary and asexual communities. Thanks!

Facebook Gender Options

While Facebook’s new gender options are a big improvement over the male/female binary options it used to have, there are still a few issues:

  1. Facebook provides predefined options only for male and female. Add a predefined nonbinary gender as well, with They-Them pronouns.
  2. Some of the options available in gender, for instance “Transgender”, are a mix of gender and assigned gender, and labeling them as “Gender” invalidates the gender of transgender people. Label them as “Gender stuff” instead.

Locate Asexual People on OKCupid

So you are an asexual person looking for a relationship/friends/whatever. How is OKCupid better than, say Asexualitic.com?

  1. OKCupid appears to have more asexual people than Asexualitic
  2. Many asexual people are not aware of asexuality. They are on sites like OKCupid, but not on Asexualitic
  3. You might be willing to compromise on sex
  4. You might be looking for an open relationship
  5. You might be looking for friends

How to find asexual people on OKCupid?

  1. Answer the asexuality-related questions, and mark them as high priority
  2. I’ve located most of the asexuality-related questions
  3. Do not mark any questions unrelated to asexuality as high priority
  4. Do not mark too many asexuality-unrelated questions as medium priority either, use low priority instead
  5. Do not restrict your acceptable answers too much—this tip applies to non-asexual people as well

How to check if you’ve gotten it right?

  1. Your match with asexual people should be 80%-100%
  2. Assuming your answers are self-consistent, you should be able to find people with a match of atleast 95%, in liberal strongholds like San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto

List of asexuality-related questions. Use the first column as your answer, and the second column as answers acceptable to you. To locate these questions, visit some asexual user’s profile, like that of SwankIvy.

  1. 2 2 Are sex and intimacy the same thing?
  2. 1 123 Could you be in a relationship with someone who had been previously sexually abused?
  3. 2 2 Do you believe that regular sex is necessary in maintaining a healthy relationship?
  4. 1 12 Have you ever seriously questioned your sexuality and whether it was different from what you first assumed?
  5. 3 3 How do you think your sex drive compares to what is typical for other people of your age and gender?
  6. 3 23 If you had to choose one of the following, which best describes the role of sex in your life?
  7. 4 4 Once you’re intimate, how often would you and your significant other have sex?
  8. 3 34 Say you’ve started seeing someone you really like. As far as you’re concerned, how long will it take before you have sex?
  9. 2 2 Which is better: sex without sleeping together or sleeping together without sex?
  10. 1 1 With respect to sex drive, which of the following has created problems in your prior relationships?
  11. 1 1 Would you consider dating someone who has no interest in sex and experiences no sexual attraction to either gender if they were otherwise perfect?
  12. 1 1 Would you consider dating someone who plans to remain celibate indefinitely?
  13. 1 1 Would you consider dating someone who wants no sex for at least two years into a relationship because they were sexually assaulted or raped?
  14. 1 1 Would you date someone who was looking for true love – but no sex, at all, ever?

Since 2014, OKCupid has Asexual, Demisexual, and some other GSRM/LGBT labels.

Happy asexual dating!