some thoughts on trans-sexuality
Being a public trans woman online is always interesting. Sometimes it’s distressing, or frustrating, or scary - but it’s always, always interesting.
Yesterday I posted a photoshopped image I made of myself pasted into the JK Rowling gender critical luncheon. Just for a little bit of context, the original photo is significant because it shows a group of women, united in their proven, shared hatred of trans women. I won’t go too much into this, but even a cursory search of the people that Joanne is pictured literally embracing will give you all you need. Those people are: Suzanne Moore, Alisson Bailey, Julie Bindle, Kathleen Stock, Maya Forstater and others. The photo represents a lot of things, but above all I’d say it acts as an indisputable admission of allegiance by JK Rowling, as to exactly what her beliefs are.
In the past JK Rowling has been quite coy about her actual beliefs. Of course, to trans women - who have finely tuned antennae which can pick up dog-whistled transphobia, it was clear. But your casual, uninvested observer might be forgiven for thinking hey, she just cares about women’s rights! It ain’t personal, trannies! But these photos are a clearly calculated “coming out” for Joanne. This can be evidenced by their appearance on the front page of The Telegraph this morning - with a lengthy article by Suzanne Moore herself titled The Truth About My Raucous Lunch With JK Rowling. I haven’t read it - but I assume that if it was “raucous” Joanne must have at one point climbed up on a table to sing “Venus” by Shocking Blue.
Anyway - the photoshop. Here’s my line of thinking, in regards to making it.
Holy shit, this picture is insane. What the fuck is she doing? Where is this?
This would be funny if I edited myself into it.
Which picture should I use? No, that one looks rough. No, that one is too low pixel
Bingo! I love this picture - look how hot I look in it. I’m fully clothed, but sexy. Plus, the position I’m in makes it perfect to place me on the table so it looks like a Whitesnake music video.
I post the picture, with the caption: “I had such a fun day out with the girlies!”
The picture sits on twitter for a little while, getting shared enthusiastically by “trans twitter”. Then, predictably, the anonymous terf accounts begin their rounds. There is a certain flavour to the insults, which tastes a lot like Mumsnet to me. Usually, I can tell where a gang of terfs has been sent from by the kinds of things they say. In this case, a lot of their rhetoric followed distinct patterns - almost as it if were workshopped, workshopped again - and then finally agreed upon. There are recurring motifs. Some of which are:
You look like Matt Lucas.
Typical pornsick man, forcing himself into a woman’s space
Just like a TRA AGP to attempt to sexualise an innocent women’s meeting
You aren’t a comedian
You are ugly
It must really eat you up inside, that you’ll never be one of the girls?
Typical INCEL humor
You are pornsick
The reason I gave you all that context before about my train of thought leading up to the photoshop, wasn’t to in any way apologise or make excuses for it. I think the post is funny, and I stand by it one hundy per-centy. But I include it, because I want to demonstrate how quick the “gender critical movement” is to assign motive.
More broadly, I just think it’s interesting how trans women aren’t allowed to embrace their sexuality without being branded “pornsick”. It’s a horrible term, usually reserved for porn-addicts, however it is being applied to trans women so as to insinuate that our very existence is a byproduct of a sexual fantasy. It seems to be their wilful misunderstanding that the only reason someone would want to transition is to gratify some base, sexual urge. You might have heard the dated, and regressive term “autogynephilia” floating around recently. That’s what that is.
The thing is though, I am a sexual being. Because of my repressed teenage years, I spent a lot of time not exploring that. Over the past 10 or so years, I have finally managed, somehow, to get to a point where I don’t hate the person I see in the mirror. I am more body confident than I have ever been before, and as a result - I like to share pictures of myself that I think look hot. If, then, YOU choose to sexualise me, that is entirely YOUR problem.
I have a sexuality, and I have sex. Even looking like Matt Lucas couldn’t hold me back.
What’s more (and I won’t dwell on this) there was a worrying amount of replies from people who seemed to not grasp that the image was photoshopped at all. Not only did they seem to think I had literally invaded this “women’s space”, but they also seemed to think I’d managed it without any resistance. The only hate comment I really agreed with was “you are bad at photoshop”, but I guess maybe I’m getting better?
Also, when did a restaurant become a “women’s only space” ? What’s next - am I not allowed in Boots?
Thanks for reading, I just wanted to give a little bit of context to an absolutely maddening situation. I like the way I look now, and I intend to share my body (and my comedy) more and more on twitter. It’s astounding to me that a 2 minute photoshop can cause such controversy among the Mary Whitehouse Appreciation Society.
I literally cannot help it if I look sexy. It’s a curse.