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Surgery and Trans persyns

2009 February 9
by Ruth Goodlaxson

Here’s a link to the Baltimore Team Trans blog, which was recently formed in response to a popular gay club’s bathroom policies. A trans man who had been performing at the club was removed by security from the men’s bathroom, which the head of security claimed was justified because he “hadn’t had surgery yet.”

The story presented on this blog challenges the emphasis which Hausman places on the possibility and the availability of surgery in the formation of a trans subjectivity. It points out that, for many, surgery really isn’t accessible – as it can cost upwards of $100,000 – and yet these individuals can still be considered trans subjects.

2 Responses
  1. Karl Van Der Meer permalink
    February 11, 2009

    Is it really necessary to sprout neologisms everywhere we go? “People” would have had better rhythm, anyway.

    There are legitimate issues at hand, it really seems more important to approach them in a way that is clear and immediately understandable than to take a symbolic jab at the patriarchy. Imagine if I were an atheist attempting to take back the French language – I’d never get anything done!

  2. Ruth Goodlaxson permalink
    February 11, 2009

    I’m assuming you’re referring to the term “persyns” – I don’t normally use this, but I was trying to use the instance linked to to challenge Hausman’s claims about the importance of surgery. If you read the blog linked to, the man in question is described with this term:

    “Of course, the staff’s determination of gender had nothing to do with genitals and everything to do with him being a drag king and a trans persyn.”

    I think that it is important to mirror the language people use to reflect themselves, even if it is through language one wouldn’t normally use. Since, I’m assuming, the individuals writing the Team Trans blog know this man and I do not, I wanted to use their language out of respect for his right to self-identify.

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