I have been involved in the transgender debate for years now. Because of my frontline position in this debate I have been subjected to regular attacks and attempts to strip me of my identity, usually and ironically by people who claim to be all about respecting identity. As a University graduate I am not opposed to reasoned critiques of my arguments, unfortunately my critics have a great deal of difficulty with my actual arguments and instead prefer to engage in ad hominem attacks. Rather than respecting my identity, they have instead spent years relentlessly attempting to strip me of my transgender status by using a faux “no true Scotsman” argument that suggests that you must believe this or that, or you must do this or that to be “really transgender” even when it (as you will see) totally contradicts the long accepted definition of the term “transgender.” But the reader should ask themselves why people have been so intent on stripping me of my identity.
The answer to the question of why LGBT activists are so hellbent on stripping me of my status as transgender can be found in the fact they are used to demonizing and defaming anybody that disagrees with them by calling them either transphobes, homophobes, or “TERFs” (transgender exclusionary radical feminists). But this strategy immediately comes into difficulty when faced with somebody such as myself who has identified not only as transgender but also as bisexual, and it induces a kind of panic in my opposition who find themselves forced to deal with the arguments instead of simply screaming “transphobe” or some similar smear.
Their arguments, however, are actually fairly weak and they know it thus they go into a kind of panicked attempt to try to somehow strip me of my status as transgender, and they do so by engaging in a kind of cognitive dissonance in which the long accepted definition of transgender is thrown out the window and I’m declared to be “not really transgender” or (even more strangely) as “transgender but not really transgender.” These logical flip-flops and somersaults should tell the neutral reader something very important about persons who engage in this strategy. In argumentative terms this attempt to invalidate my status as transgender is the “genetic fallacy” equivalent of a drive-by shooting.
Unaware of the history, many neutral observers can become confused by this apparently logically inconsistent argument. So for the sake of clarity and etymological accuracy I want to spend just a little time making it clear exactly what the term “transgender” means or refers to and has always meant going back decades in the LGBT community.
Transgender is and has been understood for decades to be an umbrella term that encompasses all kinds of gender identities. “Transgender” refers to a pattern of behaviors, not a state of biology or a state of mind. My critics frequently bypass this either because they are unaware of what the term means or because they are being deliberately deceptive, frankly, it is usually the latter. They will say things like, “you have no right to speak because you are not transgender and are just a crossdresser.” Such dishonest attempts to fallaciously strip me of my identity is little more than a political ploy designed to diminish my voice and empower their ability to use ad hominen personal attacks rather than actual facts, but which ultimately ignore the LGBTQ community’s long held definitions of the word “transgender”.
It should be noted immediately that I reject the terms “crossdresser” and “transvestite” in reference to myself, because they have only ever been directed at me as insults designed to imply that I’m nothing more than a sexual fetishist, which I am not. Like most human beings I have been a sexual creature, but my sexuality does not either define nor negate my identity. Despite respectful requests for LGBTQ activists to stop using those terms to describe me, they repeatedly and viciously use them to insult and demean me (which tells you something about their bogus claims to support “love and inclusion”). Morgane Oger, who claims to be a champion of transgender rights and respecting identity in BC has repeatedly and insultingly used demeaning attacks on my identity despite polite requests for Oger to stop.
The transgender umbrella.
The term “transgender” is decades old and the “transgender umbrella” is an illustration that was designed to help understand what the word means. The umbrella below dates back 30 years and even then made it clear “transgender” refers to a pattern of behaviors.
Here are some of the other visual umbrellas created by major LGBTQ groups in order to help people understand what transgender means and who is transgender. As you will see, “transgender” clearly refers to behaviors that cross traditionally accepted gender lines.
Note that even if we accepted my opponents’ insulting references to my identity, “crossdresser” and “transvestite” are considered as being under the transgender umbrella. Thus saying I am not transgender is like saying I am not a Canadian because I live in British Columbia not Ontario.
Bigender too is under the umbrella.
And here are some popular written definitions from major sources, some by those that reject my identity themselves, which shows the depth of their dishonesty and hypocrisy. The only way I can be stripped of my identity as transgender by my opponents, is by engaging in cognitive dissonance (believing two contradictory things at the same time) or by saying all of these definitions are invalid:
I hope that the reader is clear now that even by the definitions provided by my staunchest critics, I am transgender. The fact that I do not believe I am or could be the opposite sex from what I was born does not negate this fact, because the key word in “transgender” is “gender,” and sex and gender are quite different things. From the Law Dictionary:
Gender is in the mind and in social expectations. It is about how one is expected to behave, look, or act, and these things vary from culture to culture and over time. Sex is coded in every cell of your body and cannot be changed. Anybody can be transgender, nobody can change sex. I am transgender, but what I am not and what I can never be no matter what drugs I take or what surgery I have is a woman, because a woman is an adult human female. A woman is not something you identify as, a woman is something you either are or are not. It is determined by biology, not metaphysical notions of being trapped in the wrong body. And appearances actually have nothing to do with it; whether you appear to be a woman or not is irrelevant to the fact, because as all the Eastern mystics have said, “maya [illusion] is not reality.”
So whereas I concede I cannot be the other sex (this is a statement of truth), I can be and in fact am transgender, which, again, refers to people that engage in behavior patterns related to gender that do not conform to current social expectations. I believe it is important to remain tethered to truth and physical reality, and concede that sex change is impossible (the term “sex change” is a misnomer because nobody in history has ever changed sex, many have taken on the social roles of the opposite sex, but nobody has ever actually changed sex).
The idea that a person can or should change sex is, in my opinion, not only harmful to the individual and society in general, it is harmful to our most vulnerable children who are buying this mystical notion en masse and going on to use drugs and hormones that permanently and irreversibly alter their bodies (resulting in many cases in permanent sterilization). Being opposed to this is not “bigotry or hatred” it is common sense and a much needed return to using secular truth as our tethering post for laws and policies. Everybody, especially our children, should be encouraged to embrace the truth and accept their bodies and biological sex. While you can express any way you want in the world, you are and always will be the sex you were born. It is a fundamental and inescapable truth. You can run from the truth, but it will follow you your entire life and you will never escape it. Best to accept it now and begin from there.
As a final note I would like to address the idea that my refusal to accept the notion that anybody can change sex is somehow a denial that transgender people exist. This assertion is of course absurd, because I identify as transgender and I do so because I recognize that I engage in behavior patterns typically associated with the opposite sex. I exist, therefore transgender people exist.
In my opinion being transgender is similar to being a gambler in terms of how you can understand the type of thing being referred to. The word “gambler” refers to somebody who engages in a particular type of behavior or behaviors — they may play poker, they may play blackjack, they may play roulette, they may do all of these things or only one, and they may do so regularly or irregularly. Anybody who engages in these behaviors is a gambler, and gamblers exist, it would be silly to suggest that they do not exist. But a gambler is not a physical thing. A gambler is somebody who engages in gambling behavior, but the moment he or she stops engaging in that behavior they cease to be a gambler. The same thing applies to being transgender. Anybody who decides to be transgender can be transgender, and as long as they engage in the behaviors of being transgender then they exist and can be identified as legitimately transgender, but the moment they stop engaging in those behaviors they cease to be transgender. There is no scientific proof that anybody is born transgender let alone born in the wrong body, which is a bizarre quasi-religious statement that summons the superstitions of the middle ages.
None of this is to suggest there’s anything wrong with being transgender, that is a subjective moral question that has to be decided upon by the individual him or herself.
So I hope this little essay answers once and for all the repeated attacks on my identity and clarifies for the reader the true definition of transgender.
Addendum on pronouns and language.
I was asked about why I use male pronouns and gave the following response:
The language/pronoun issue is very complicated but I’ve addressed it in videos before. I never used to care about pronouns until I realized it was being used as a kind of neurolinguistic programming — what I mean is that I realized language/pronouns was being used to psychologically condition people. Used at length and with seriousness, using female identifiers to refer to males is the neurological equivalent to allowing men into women’s private spaces, except in this case it is allowing men into areas of the brain previously reserved for females. This is a form of deep psychology. I frankly don’t care how people refer to each other in private conversations but in public where it relates to public policies, programs, and laws we need to keep our language straight. Language is important. It allows us to clearly identify, separate, and organize things in our world, which is not a trifle, it is part of what makes us unique creatures in nature and it is also what makes science work. The power of language has been discoursed upon by George Orwell and Philip K Dick among others, not to mention linguistic studies. To take away our ability to clearly identify, separate, and organize things, and to prohibit us from recognizing physical reality via language, is to dehumanize us.
As somebody who identifies as transgender and who has been bisexual in his life, I have no issues with people presenting as they want and behaving with other adults in any way they like as long as it doesn’t harm others — whether such behavior is right or wrong is up to the individual and their relationship or lack of relationship with a God to decide. But whereas that behavior forces others to surrender language and reality it goes too far. So I concede clarity and truth in language, because refusing to recognize truth actually benefits nobody except for those who want to live in a perpetual state of untruth, which I regard as unhealthy in the long term not only for the individual but for society, and most disturbingly for our children. I use male identifiers because I am male. How I present to the world and who I have sexual relations with is nobody’s business, but biological sex matters in numerous ways and we need to retain the ability to identify and separate people by biological sex, just as we have been doing throughout our entire history.