Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MINSTREL BLOOD
(IN)FAMOUS LAST WORDS (FOR NOW)
by Alix Dobkin
2000-06-21

This article shared 5355 times since Wed Jun 21, 2000
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


This should be the last Minstrel Blood political commentary for awhile. I need to complete my memoirs, a project I began almost a decade ago and one that should be a book already. Therefore, this final ( I hope ) bit of procrastination is offered as closure and an attempt to summarize my thinking since "The Emperor's New Gender" appeared in Chicago's Outlines in January. Although many people have thanked me for speaking out, others took issue with me. I tried to respond with an open mind and reasoned replies based on my understanding of feminism, which to me means embracing womanhood and honoring all people. As always my point was, and is, to further the love of women in a woman-hating world.

Like veteran gay activist, writer and thinker Jim Fouratt, I firmly believe and have written that everyone should be treated with respect. We both strongly defend everyone's right to express their love for themselves and for each other no matter what form that may take. We agree that, as Jim puts it, "... the fundamental difference between male and female is deeper than socialization and acculturation of identities" and neither of us believes that it's possible to create a woman from a man or a man from a woman. We each question pressures on gender-variant youth for surgical and hormonal intervention and express concern about, "... how one makes an informed or free choice."

Both of us object to sexual as well as cultural appropriation, and I especially worry about the narrowing of women's identity and the erasure of women's history. For voicing these considerations we have been attacked as "bigoted," "transphobic" and worse, but are these not credible concerns?

As I acknowledged back in January, much remains to be discovered about this experimental process, so I try to learn more about this most volatile of community questions, as well as mentioning some GLBT unmentionables.

In the past couple of months I have engaged with quite a few transsexual and transgendered individuals and have been struck by the amazing variety of experience and identities they represent. Each conversation deepens my understanding, and increasingly I have come to appreciate how interesting and unique each story is. Rather than consensus within the trans community, I have encountered a deep and wide divergence of perspective. Within that spectrum, some disagree with my views but others see eye-to-eye.

Besides the enormous variance between individuals, I have learned a bit about transsexual history. For example, that the term, "transsexual" and "transvestite" first appeared in Germany in 1919 and the term, "transgender" was subsequently introduced in the U.S. as a way for "entitled men to distance from those icky transsexuals," as one of my transsexual educators described it.

In fact, older transsexuals have impressed me with their efforts to preserve and defend themselves from a postmodern social constructionist movement which they feel has blurred, misrepresented and co-opted them. Certain older, long-time transsexuals I've met recently are extremely distressed with the arrogance of certain privileged male publicity seekers as they select and appropriate elements of women's constructed identity and attempt to transgress women's space. The same opportunists likewise disappear those genuine transsexual allies who stand with us to honor women and defend our space, as I stand with them to defend their singular history.

The "stone butch" transgendered identified woman I talked with last month could easily be taken for a young man and was eager to share her story with me or anyone else. I've discussed theory with a serious FTM ( female-to-male ) feminist and exchanged fascinating email with a good-natured FTM pragmatist. Unafraid of disagreement, each reflect entirely different backgrounds, sets of circumstances and points of view. Interesting, sweet, and intelligent, they come across to me as thoroughly female young Dykes who, rather than obsessing about being "mistreated," appreciate Lesbian feminists and understand that raging assholes rage in every community.

In the woman-loving universe we all envision, everyone would treat everyone else respectfully, none would be ridiculed ( unless they deserved it ) and woman-loving females of every variety would consider each other simply as another measure of womanhood. Unfortunately we're not there yet, but until we do, I won't be held responsible for any bad conduct but my own.

Speaking of my behaviors, both good and bad, I hope you'll stay tuned for tales of my memoirs and the times in which they occurred. Meanwhile, I sincerely hope the commentaries have provided you with some food for thought and nourishment for your own growth.

XXAlix@aol.com


This article shared 5355 times since Wed Jun 21, 2000
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Meditation on the killing of journalists 2024-04-11
- Trigger warning: I am a journalist and I read newspapers. I've been reading newspapers since I first learned to read. Newspapers were a lively part of the daily life in my family. I even wrote letters ...


Gay News

VIEWS Mike Johnson: The smiling face of Christian tyranny 2024-02-14
- Mike Johnson wants to rewrite the constitution to make the United States a Christian nation. James Michael Johnson, Republican from Louisiana's Fourth District, is the 56th speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was ...


Gay News

VIEWS Parents, not legislators, should be making decisions about medical options for children 2024-02-06
By Jeffery M. Leving - No matter the medical issue, when it comes to kids, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said something last December that every lawmaker in the country should realize when it comes to medical decisions for children. "Were House ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...


Gay News

VIEWS Is the Pope Catholic? Francis faces opposition in steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity 2024-01-02
- The recent change in Vatican policy allowing priests to bless same-gender couples has provoked an unprecedented backlash against Pope Francis and his openness to LGBTQ+ people—a backlash that some fear might devolve into a schism in ...


Gay News

Bring Chicago Home: Guess who's saying no again 2023-12-04
Commentary by Bob Palmer and Mark Swartz - Chicago is ushering in an era of change with a new progressive mayor with a vision to invest in communities long ignored and a significant increase in like-minded city council members. We are excited to see ...


Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen 2023-11-28
- It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...


Gay News

Banning the Banning of Books: Illinois and California lead the way 2023-10-26
- In June, at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation banning book bans in Illinois public libraries. This legislation, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, passed the Illinois House and ...


Gay News

OPINION Renewing state's Invest in Kids program is investing in anti-LGBTQ+ hate 2023-10-23
- In February 2020, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield warned transgender students in the Diocese's educational system that they "may be expelled from the school" if they live their lives authentically. Lansing Christian School ...


Gay News

Gilbert Baker Foundation reacts to death of shop owner who flew the rainbow flag 2023-08-29
--From a press release - In response to the murder of Laura Ann Carleton over flying the Rainbow flag in her shop in California, the Gilbert Baker Foundation released the statement below. Facebook refused to post the statement as it did not "...meet their standards." ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT U.S. higher education under siege; freedom of inquiry and speech at risk 2023-07-03
- The Covid pandemic threw a harsh spotlight on higher education in America, exposing forces eating away at the foundations of college and university learning, calling into question the traditional purposes of such education in our post-modern, ...


Gay News

Guest essay by Florida mom Nicole Pejovich: What's Happening to Florida's Public Schools? 2023-06-19
Related video below - A queer Florida parent answers questions about recent laws, how Floridians are coping, and how you can help Books pulled from school library shelves by the dozens. All evidence of inclusivity stripped from classrooms. The politically ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For divorced parents, transgender children's health can present tricky dilemmas 2023-06-12
- Over the last few months, issues impacting individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary are getting a lot of attention in the media and among some politicians. Sadly, because it's become a political issue; a lot ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT War in the 21st Century: mercenaries, private military companies, private armies 2023-05-20
- In 2022, $407 billion of the Pentagon budget—representing half of that year's funding —were obligated to private contractors, of which a significant number were Private Military Companies (PMCs) involved in ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Telling the world about my mental health disorders 2023-05-04
- Over the years, coming out as a lesbian hasn't been that hard for me—because I was always too busy hiding something else. Confessing queerness can be a breeze compared to revealing mental illness. But I decline ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.