Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hurrah! An article about Thomas Beatie that explains that transpeople's relationships to their gender, sexuality and sexual organs is, whaddayouknow, more complicated than straight peoples.

Mr. Beatie is "making visible the fact that a lot of people's experience of making these decisions isn't about getting a penis or losing a penis." For many transgender people, [Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick] said, "genital surgery is not what defines gender, and that will be news for lots and lots of Americans," who may have trouble comprehending the idea that for some, anatomy does not define woman or man.

(Not just Americans.)

"Not a lot of transmen get what's called 'bottom' or 'lower' surgery," [Judith] Halberstam explained, referring to procedures like the one Mr. Beatie had, and to yet more radical interventions like hysterectomy. "If they want a penis, they don't want a micro-penis," she said. If what they want is to be men, she added, they see no reason why that goal is compromised by keeping their ovaries.

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