Thomas Beatie

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Posted

I am staying with my original opinion of Thomas from the original posted topic. I think Thomas is doing this for his wife because she can't. The media attention was probably inevitable and maybe not. I don't know what his reason is for using the media nor do I really care.

I understand what you are saying, Michael, and I respect your opinions but I really do think we need people like Thomas to give society a shake or like Patricia's friend, this is me today and this is me tomorrow. If you don't like it too f***ing bad. I used to do the same thing when I was in my twenties by the way I dressed. Nothing about it was feminine it was just not what anyone else was wearing. I was very masculine, I had girlfriends and I was an athelete, so no one was questioning my gender or sexuality. Little did they know the real me that I kept hidden so well. There are always people who do things that cross society's grain and yes it can be dangerous and life threatening but I always cheer them on in my own quiet way because I wish I had been as brave. Maybe I would have been had I not been trying to become a professional hockey player. Anyway, back to what you are saying, Michael, it would be nice if we could all become the gender we were meant to be and just blend into society and not have to stretch the elastic to breaking point. And yes, I don't want to see a man on the beach in a bikini but then I don't want to see a lot of other things but I do and I just ignore it. If the elastic is pushed past the breaking point then get another elastic that will stretch past the previous breaking point. Society will move forward as it has been doing. Look at societies who refuse to stretch the elastic or will not allow anyone to even try.

Bonnie

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Hi Bonnie. My name is Patricia. I am everything.

To Everyone,

Please bear in mind that some time ago gay people in certain societies, including mine, were executed for the fact that they happened to love people of their own gender. Unfortunately, this still happens in certain countries. In other countries people no longer blink an eye when they see two men holding hands and pushing a trolley with their baby through a park on a Sunday afternoon. Those societies no longer consider it unusual when they see a man on a television game show introducing the man standing next to him as his husband.

First, the gay men and women before them needed to form a bond, respect each others' differences, accept that some happened to be feminine, neutral, and others masculine. When they started to understand and respect each others' differences they were able to fight the battle as a united group. They were able to push the boundaries and have their governments give them equal rights and change the views of the greater society.

When the members of one minority group don't respect each others' differences and keep disagreeing with each other about how to do and feel and love, the other 90% of their fellow country mates will just shrug their shoulders and continue to hurt those minorities' feelings and discriminate them. Why would 90% of people respect the feelings of those 10% if they do not do so themselves? Following equal rights for all people in those progressive countries, societies slowly changed. After the first country changed, other countries started to follow.

The next generation in those countries started to raise their eyebrows when their parents told them (or when they read in history books) that in the past men who loved other men, and women who loved other women were considered not good enough to deserve the same rights as them.

So, before our current society will understand and respect us, we Transgender People, should first start to respect each others' differences and form a strong union. This will make us strong enough to have our governments and the rest of our society understand us, accept us, give us equal rights, respect us, and in time even love us.

And please, Everybody, one day it may happen that this lovely and brave man called Mr. Thomas Beatie, will google his own name on the internet and stumble upon the harsh words that are written about him on this site. And if this beautiful man happens to be thin-skinned and in touch with his feminine emotions, he may shake his head, kiss his children goodnight, and cry himself to sleep in the arms of his wife. Just because he had A Dream. The dream to create a family, as well as creating awareness, understanding and acceptance, most likely not just for himself, but especially for his fellow transgender brothers and sisters.

I hope this man has wisdom and feelings of compassion for the narrow-mindedness of his own brothers and sisters. I hope his 15 minutes of fame will last a lifetime and will be passed on to next generations. I hope that he continues to help the greater community to understand the diversity among transgender people. I hope that one day in the future, nobody will flinch an eye when they see a pregnant man playing with his children in the park on a Sunday afternoon, or a man in a two-piece swimsuit on the beach, or a woman with no breasts but with male genitals in a one-piece swimsuit.

I have a dream too. A dream that one day in the future, we can finally say: in oldentimes we transgender people had a dream. The dream that we were accepted and respected not only by our own brothers and sisters, but also by the greater community. And I hope that I will live long enough to be able to say: Brave individuals in our family had the courage to stand up and make a difference. They taught and fought, created awareness, developed understanding and compassion in order to create one united community. The road was long and difficult, but we changed, we changed them, and we overcame our differences. We succeeded. Amen.

Thank You, Thomas Beatie.

Patricia

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Well said, Patricia.

I can't help but see a parallel between the way we treat "gender outlaws" and the way the greater queer community once treated us. When the gay rights movement started transgender people were largely derided and cast out as we were seen as a liability to the queer community. Gays and lesbians were worried that we would reflect poorly on them, that we would reinforce negative stereotypes, and just generally freak people out beyond the point of ever wanting to understand. Thankfully this trend has changed.

Unfortunately; a similar phenomenon has occurred within the trans community. In the battle for our rights and understanding we have been making an effort to show everyone how normal we are, that we are just like them. Many of us are, but those who do not conform to gender norms or live alternative lifestyles then find themselves cast out. In trying to create a homogenised image of the transgender community we have done our best to disavow sex trade workers, over-the-top personalities, and those who totally break the gender binary. While I understand not wanting these identities imposed on ones self, I think it's a shame we turn a blind eye to portions of our community in an attempt to fit in.

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I agree with Bonnie,Thomas maybe going through this because his wife can't and many couples no matter their gender want to have a family.

As for the discussion about the diversity within the GLBT community you would think we would be the most understanding and tolerant of one anothers feeling and accept the differences between us.Unfortunately some don't seem to be able to do that,which is something hard to understand.How can anyone expect tolerance and acceptance if their not willing to give it.

In all those years of hiding from society and thinking if any group of people could understand how I feel,it would be the gay community.I don't know if it's true but it really suprised me to find out that they say the majority of them don't care and can't accept us transsexuals.

Until we all can accept one another for who we are and the differences within our own community how can we expect others too.

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"What is cisgender?" -Patricia

"cisgender" means non-transgender.

cisgender - wikipedia

cisgender - urban dictionary

"...how do you feel about people experimenting and crosing bouderies in a private setting...?" -Patricia

what a person does in private certainly does not bother me. and really, most things don't bother me if it just isn't thrown at me with an attitude that one does not care how those around them are affected. since this discussion is in the "thomas beatie" thread...i will use beatie as an example.

some time ago, i posted about a guy who decided to go off T and have a baby -this was long before beatie stepped into the spotlight. the idea to me is beyond comprehension. but the guy wasn't in the media like beatie is. he wasn't trying to bend people's understanding of the roles of men and women when it comes to procreation. and as i've mentioned, we need to get society's overall acceptance and understanding of TG people. once that goal is achieved, then another step could be taken.

------------------------------------------------

"I do not identify as an "outlaw" regarding my gender, and although I do frequently mention on this board that I am an androgyne as well as a transwoman, I don't believe I've ever "crammed my status" down anyone's throat. I also don't *expect* others to understand why it is that I present myself as a woman, even though I don't necessarily speak or behave like most women." -Shannon

i have read in several of your posts that you identify as androgyne as well as a woman. i would find it difficult at best to consider you a gender outaw...and it's because what i know of you (which is limited to here on this forum), you impress me as an intelligent, conservative lady. you don't appear to me as someone who is running around intentionally pushing people to their limits via shock value...testing what they are able to accept.

"...for the most part cisgendered people seem to be very tolerant of me and generally find me quite approachable." -Shannon

i think this is understandably so - because you are (the way i see it), conservative in the way you conduct yourself.

"Ironically, it's also been my experience that the people most bothered by (and least tolerant of) my gender ambiguity tend to be my fellow transpeople. :( " -Shannon

while i am guilty for some level of intolerance in certain situations...i hope you don't feel that i've been intolerant of you.

---------------------------------------------

"If the elastic is pushed past the breaking point then get another elastic that will stretch past the previous breaking point." -Bonnie

that's part of my point... one step (rubber band) at a time.

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it seems now that this has eroded to a general intolerance of transgender people on my part - which is not the case. i hope as much as everyone else that our world changes, and that there is never any [well-meaning, well-intentioned] group subjected to the kind of intolerance that the TG/TS community endures, which causes so many of us to hide this from family and friends, and in some cases even ourselves, because of the shame and bigotry we know to exist.

unfortunately...i truly believe that as long as there are the loudest few who play the "in-your-face" game, there will always be some part of society that associates that kind of behaviour with all in the TG/TS community, thus making it more difficult for people to sit down and really listen and learn, and begin to accept TG/TS people in general. people have a tendancy to balk the most when they feel like they are being forced into something they don't understand.

-michael

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"I do not identify as an "outlaw" regarding my gender, and although I do frequently mention on this board that I am an androgyne as well as a transwoman, I don't believe I've ever "crammed my status" down anyone's throat. I also don't *expect* others to understand why it is that I present myself as a woman, even though I don't necessarily speak or behave like most women." -Shannon

i have read in several of your posts that you identify as androgyne as well as a woman. i would find it difficult at best to consider you a gender outaw...and it's because what i know of you (which is limited to here on this forum), you impress me as an intelligent, conservative lady. you don't appear to me as someone who is running around intentionally pushing people to their limits via shock value...testing what they are able to accept.

In all actuality, Michael, I do go around intentionally pushing people's limits. And every day I hope that I am somehow challenging others' preconceptions about gender. I generally try not to employ what you refer to as shock value simply because it's not my personal style... and because I don't believe it to be a very effective persuasive strategy.

"...for the most part cisgendered people seem to be very tolerant of me and generally find me quite approachable." -Shannon

i think this is understandably so - because you are (the way i see it), conservative in the way you conduct yourself.

Hmmmm, I guess I never posted my story about how some of my artwork got banned from a local art show for supposedly being pornographic a few years back (some of the work in question was self-portraiture)... then ended up being interviewed on a local TV program regarding my views on art and censorship. No, I don't think people accept me because I conduct myself in such a conservative way; I think for the most part people don't really have a problem with me because *I* don't really have a problem with me. ;)

"Ironically, it's also been my experience that the people most bothered by (and least tolerant of) my gender ambiguity tend to be my fellow transpeople. :( " -Shannon

while i am guilty for some level of intolerance in certain situations...i hope you don't feel that i've been intolerant of you.

No, Michael, I have never felt that you have been intolerant towards me. Actually, you have always been one of the most friendly and welcoming people I know and I very much consider you a friend and ally. The reason I mentioned my own non-binary gender status was intended as a comparison, i.e., I know you've never had a problem with me, even though you know I don't conform to standard gender roles, so it really makes me wonder why this Thomas Beatie thing bugs you so much. (FYI, most of the people I was referring to who have taken issue with my gender ambiguity are transpeople I have met IRL; I was not making reference to anyone here.)

unfortunately...i truly believe that as long as there are the loudest few who play the "in-your-face" game, there will always be some part of society that associates that kind of behaviour with all in the TG/TS community, thus making it more difficult for people to sit down and really listen and learn, and begin to accept TG/TS people in general. people have a tendancy to balk the most when they feel like they are being forced into something they don't understand.

No matter what communities we are a part of--whether it be the larger, overall community, or our little transgender community--there are always going to be some members whose means or ideas we either outright disagree with or perhaps simply find disagreeable. And that's fine. But to claim that someone else, by their actions or beliefs, has the power to make me look bad in the eyes of others seems absolutely ludicrous to me. If I were to believe that someone else actually had the power to drag me down by proxy like that, I would basically be saying that I have absolutely no control over my own life. I would be, in effect, bestowing all of my personal power onto someone that I probably don't even know--and certainly don't agree with... and I'm simply not willing to do that. Simply put, if you don't like something someone else is doing, then don't make it a part of your life. :)

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boy oh boy this has really turned now hasn't it,I think that the whole thing is really our own difficulties making our mark as individualls and not a class or a stereotypical sort of person..the fact of the matter we just really want others to except us as the individual we are not placing us into the perverbiale pigeon whole...this fact of life really erks me how can I as a person truelly be excepted if I cant except myself...thus how do we truelly except society to except us if we have such a hard time excepting others of our social group...I think this is really sad that as humans we think that one thing is untollerable but other things are not...Fine thomas have these children for your wife raise them with the love they desirve from a mother and father that is all any of us truelly want just to be loved and respected for the person we are...if you like being tied up or spanked then do it dont expect everyone to cheer you for these things and dont think they are going to understand them its not really important that they do its just important to you to know thats what you like..so do it just do it and move on...one persons rubberband might be alot more flexable then anothers and this is a fact of life that we are all diffrent and like diffrent things..thats what makes us INDIVIDUALS...As far as the flamboiant folks in this world they may agravate us but I think we must just ignore them and move on hey its their life let them live it as they see fit..Doesnt mean I have to join in to be tollerant just means I am not really bugged by them expressing themselves....Look at some of us that have piercings and tats and like to were vampire fangs and dress in black does that mean you have to do these things no but you just look and shrug your shoulders and think what the heck were they thinking and move on your merry way..I think self expresion is a nessacary part of our lives if we didnt then we would all be just lemmings moving to the edge of the cliff and falling off into obscourity never to make our mark or influance anyones live good or bad...so in closing be you just dont think that everyone is going to take you for who you are and except you as a worth while human to associate with.

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Thomas Beatie does indeed stir up a lot of emotions. I expect it is very likely that the LGTB-community spends more time and energy talking about him than the actual cisgender-folks that we fear must be shaking their heads when they are being confronted with a pregnant man on Larry King Live, Oprah, Ellen or Walters. The Cis-folks have probably already moved on by watching other types of individuals that are now stretching and snapping rubber bands and shocking the bloody Jesus out of those fine people.

In my Drag-King-Thing-reply I mentioned that I considered myself to be conservative. Maybe I was wrong about that. Perhaps I confused employing correct and respectful behaviour and correct etiquette in certain situations or locations with conservatism.

I do not walk in shorts and a sexy top through the streets of Dubai, Jemen, Saudi-Arabia, Mumbai, Delhi, Penang or Galveston-Texas, but I may do so in Amsterdam, New York, Patong, Pattaya, and San Francisco. I don’t dress up in my black latex bodysuit when I visit a cathedral in Brussels or attend a straight-wedding in Chicago. I don’t enter a Buddhist temple in Ayudhaya in my underwear, but I have done so at the high-so Bed Supper Club on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. I don’t wear my low-cut skinny jeans when I attend a lunch of the International Ladies Club at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, nor do I have a quicky with strange men in public toilets in Kuala Lumpur. Yet, at times I employ behaviour that might be considered unusual or inappropriate by the average person. However, I make sure I allow myself to employ this behaviour only when I am sure I won’t get arrested and thrown in jail or lose the respect of people that I care about.

I feel very much like Shannon. I connect with the things she replied to Michael. He is a person who I still wouldn’t mind being my red-carpet arm-candy in case I need to attend a social event in his area that requires the company of a male escort (no matter whether we might differ in our opinion regarding Thomas’ public appearances. I also hope to experience an extensive communication with him through this site, as I don’t have any transman in my circle of friends and acquaintances.

I applaud Shannon for portraying herself in an artistic pornographic manner in an art gallery and not in a local church in Utah, and feel sorry she got herself into trouble. Unlike, Shannon, I don’t go around intentionally pushing people's limits, nor do I try to employ what Michael refers to as shock value, simply because it's not my personal style either and I too believe it not to be a very effective persuasive strategy. Yet, I do have a variety of business/contact cards in my handbag. Some are of a type that I give to business relations in the over 200 countries I have visited and lived in during my 40 year career, other cards are of a type that I give to people I meet in my private life and would like to be friends with. Since the 1990s I also carry with me discreet black business-card-size envelopes-cum-contact cards that include not only my first-name and my telephone number but also a condom. Occasionally I hand them over to handsome male fellow-travellers in a subway-train or aeroplane, or I have one of those cards send over to a lone man sitting in a hotel lobby by a waiter with the compliments of the Asian lady sitting alone with her laptop at the bar. I am not sure if this might be considered an action that contains a degree of shock, but at least it has been an effective method to fight loneliness or boredom.

A friend of mine once said that his hand has two sides. Each side looks different but still they are part of the same hand. I guess that I might be both a conservative person and in other ways I might not.

As for Thomas’ media attention; it never crossed my mind that his appearances were provocative nor did they contain shock value, at least that is how I think about him.

I applaud Shannon that she intentionally pushes people's limits sometimes as that has always been done by trendsetting brave people. If this wouldn’t be done, we would still walk around in 19th-century-style costumes, women wouldn’t have the right to vote, African-American people would still work as slaves on plantations, not one single country would allow post-op transsexuals have their gender corrected on their birth-certificates, and the USA wouldn’t have Mr. Obama as their next President. Societies evolve. It’s part of human nature. Some nations are better at it than others. That is why we live in a world full of extremities, a world where some people are forced to live the way they do in North Korea, or are free to do as they please in Denmark and the Netherlands. In some countries people go to prison for committing adultery such as in South-Korea, while it is standard behaviour for both women and men to have concubines in Thailand, China and Japan. As the Buddha said: nothing remains the same; everything is subject to change.

I hope that this thread will continue to inspire people to think, write, and post their ideas.

For now, I wish everyone a very nice day. I just received a message that my lover has just flown in from his hometown and is waiting for me in room 1056 with a nice bottle of bubbly, a box of Belgium chocolates and fresh strawberries.

Patricia

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but most of what you describe...this today, that tomorrow, something different the following day...in my opinion falls in the category of the "gender outlaw," the transgender individual who is hell-bent on cramming not only his/her TG/TS status down everyone's throats, but also goes about his/her gender bending seemingly expecting everyone to accept and understand that which would be, for the most part, not even accepted or understood in the non-TG/TS world. it seems the gender outlaw is out to intentionally confound and confuse, and takes "out loud and proud" to an uber-extreme.

Well said, Michael! :)

the transgender community can be graced with enough diversity without being outlandish, without employing shock value, without being outlaws. we are men and women, and despite being transgender, we can still be like most men and women in society yet be unique without being outrageous, without outraging those around us. being transgender is not a license to flip society the bird. it's not an excuse to make a mockery of gender.

i do not condemn you for wanting to be more open-minded. i respect that you want to bring your own life into the present. and i think we'll all agree the world could do with considerably more tolerance. but even i, being TG/TS and wanting the world to accept me as a man, am willing to recognize that tolerance has boundaries.

I agree 100%.

These "gender outlaws" make a mockery not just of gender itself, but of those of us who are (more or less) normal women and men who would like, more than anything, to be accepted as such. I'm not condemning gender variance; I'm a girl, but I have a temper and enjoy Star Trek (just like my mom), and I'm working toward becoming a math professor. But these people are as bad as non-TG people who tell us that we're just sensitive guys and strong women. (If only it were that simple!) If someone wants to live an androgynous life, that's fine, but it should be as a man or as a woman--and they need to pick one and stick with it.

Those "gender outlaws" are, by their own admission, freaks. I'm just a girl who looks very masculine, and presents as male for a variety of legitimate reasons. When these people get in the news, the person on the street says, "See? These people claim to be women trapped in men's bodies or the reverse, but stuff like this proves that deep down, biology takes over. Look at that woman who transitioned to male and then got pregnant. She still has the biological female urge for motherhood, blah blah blah." And then they look at someone like me and say, "You may deny your male self, but it's right there deep down in your DNA, yada yada yada."

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Well said, Patricia.

I can't help but see a parallel between the way we treat "gender outlaws" and the way the greater queer community once treated us. When the gay rights movement started transgender people were largely derided and cast out as we were seen as a liability to the queer community. Gays and lesbians were worried that we would reflect poorly on them, that we would reinforce negative stereotypes, and just generally freak people out beyond the point of ever wanting to understand. Thankfully this trend has changed.

Unfortunately; a similar phenomenon has occurred within the trans community. In the battle for our rights and understanding we have been making an effort to show everyone how normal we are, that we are just like them. Many of us are, but those who do not conform to gender norms or live alternative lifestyles then find themselves cast out. In trying to create a homogenised image of the transgender community we have done our best to disavow sex trade workers, over-the-top personalities, and those who totally break the gender binary. While I understand not wanting these identities imposed on ones self, I think it's a shame we turn a blind eye to portions of our community in an attempt to fit in.

Jo’C,

Great observations. I feel our T-community has still a long way to go. If we don’t accept each others differences in our small community, we cannot expect to be respected by the larger community. I have a feeling that we are now at a point where the gay community was fifty years ago. I have heard that the gay community have/had problems with accepting transsexuals as part of the queer-community. However, it is my experience that over the past decades I felt more accepted by gay people than transsexual people. This explains why I keep making and losing transgender friends. Now I only hang out with gay people and they have zero problems with my being a transsexual, nor do they have a problem with the fact that I am not a stereotypical transsexual. Over the past two years I have been slowly coming out of stealth to cis-gender people. Neither do they have a problem with my gender-variety. They are always interested. They too accept that I do not always employ stereotypical transsexual female behaviour.

I questioned myself what would be the equivalent of a pregnant transman in case of a MtF. Could it be a beautiful, feminine post-op MtF who goes on television saying that she enjoys her strap-on penis in order to intercourse her effeminate or versatile gay lover? That would be hard to understand for the general audience either. Interestlingly, this is how I feel sexually, and the gay community I hang out with do not have one single problem with my sexual needs. They find it interesting. They don’t even consider me a transsexual. They say I am like a real woman. Yet, because of my sexuality, I can sense that they feel a bond with me, and they allow me to be part of their most intimate get-togethers.

So I do receive full acceptance of the gay community and no acceptance of the transsexual community. The cis-community is interested in me too and don’t mind being my friend.

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Great observations. I feel our T-community has still a long way to go. If we don’t accept each others differences in our small community, we cannot expect to be respected by the larger community.

I disagree. Those of us who are more normal are more accepted in the larger community. Those who seem to be constantly shifting between male and female elicit reactions of confusion. Just like the fact that gay couples with a clear male and female role are more accepted than other gay couples.

I questioned myself what would be the equivalent of a pregnant transman in case of a MtF. Could it be a beautiful, feminine post-op MtF who goes on television saying that she enjoys her strap-on penis in order to intercourse her effeminate or versatile gay lover? That would be hard to understand for the general audience either. Interestlingly, this is how I feel sexually, and the gay community I hang out with do not have one single problem with my sexual needs. They find it interesting. They don’t even consider me a transsexual. They say I am like a real woman. Yet, because of my sexuality, I can sense that they feel a bond with me, and they allow me to be part of their most intimate get-togethers.

Actually, there are straight genetic women who use strap-on dildos--witness the popularity of the Bend Over Boyfriend videos. I can see how someone can enjoy having a removable penis--after all, I wish I could leave mine in a drawer and forget about it for most of the day.

So I do receive full acceptance of the gay community and no acceptance of the transsexual community. The cis-community is interested in me too and don’t mind being my friend.

That's funny, the cis-community seems to be the place where I'm really accepted.

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Great observations. I feel our T-community has still a long way to go. If we don’t accept each others differences in our small community, we cannot expect to be respected by the larger community.

I disagree. Those of us who are more normal are more accepted in the larger community. Those who seem to be constantly shifting between male and female elicit reactions of confusion. Just like the fact that gay couples with a clear male and female role are more accepted than other gay couples.

So I do receive full acceptance of the gay community and no acceptance of the transsexual community. The cis-community is interested in me too and don’t mind being my friend.

That's funny, the cis-community seems to be the place where I'm really accepted.

It's cool, Girlinside, that people can agree to disagree with each other. You mentioned the word Normal. Define Normal to me. In the Cis-community there is a lot of diversity too. A whole spectrum of everything possible. There are maculine women and feminine men and everything in between. Nations differ from each other too. People with different religious backgrounds differ from each other. Japanese are different from Americans, French different from Koreans, Canadians different from Thais, Argentinians differents from Egyptians. As long as we can accept that we are all different and respect each others' differences, we create PEACE. Thus I also believe that within our T-community we should accept that we are not all the same, not all stereotypical "Normal" people, and that it is not necessary that all our peers should present themselves to the outside world in what some of us define as Normal. As I do not see that happening in the cis-world either, I do not believe that We should hold on to traditional gender roles. I also believe that perhaps too many of us lack enough confidence to be different, and that their criticism of their peers may derive from that lack. It takes guts to live your life the way you want it. It took me more than half a life-time not to feel a degree of inferiority and shame. This explains why I have lived so long (too long) in stealth. I think that we underestimate the degree of tolerance of cis-people. Did you come accross someone who spoke to you about how terrible it was to see that pregnant man on TV? I didn't. I think they don't care, they don't mind and they just see it as something fascinating, just like me.

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One more thing. I always hear that you shouldn't put metal in a microwave oven, because the whole damn thing will explode. That isn't true either. I just heated up a cup of water in a microwave oven with a metal spoon inside. I didn't burn the hotel down.

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Did you come accross someone who spoke to you about how terrible it was to see that pregnant man on TV? I didn't. I think they don't care, they don't mind and they just see it as something fascinating, just like me.

Actually, I didn't come across anyone who said this; it's just that I and everyone I know have trouble understanding how someone who identifies so strongly as male (Mr. Beatie said he feels unquestionably male even while pregnant) would want to be pregnant. I mean, I'm very strongly female, and I would love to be pregnant. But every man I know would hate it.

I think the person on the street feels the same way. You have to admit, it's inconsistent.

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Did you come accross someone who spoke to you about how terrible it was to see that pregnant man on TV? I didn't. I think they don't care, they don't mind and they just see it as something fascinating, just like me.

Actually, I didn't come across anyone who said this; it's just that I and everyone I know have trouble understanding how someone who identifies so strongly as male (Mr. Beatie said he feels unquestionably male even while pregnant) would want to be pregnant. I mean, I'm very strongly female, and I would love to be pregnant. But every man I know would hate it.

I think the person on the street feels the same way. You have to admit, it's inconsistent.

Well, exactly!

I strongly identify as a woman. I am not even androgyne in my behaviour or looks. I have very long hair, a very feminine body and I love being a woman. I love a tall masculine partner because that makes me feel extra feminine. I LOVE it. That is why I don't go around telling everyone that I sometimes love to have sex with smooth, versatile feminine openminded gay men who like to experiment, and pretending to be male and be on top and do anything a gay top would do, and penetrate that man with my strap-on. And believe me, for a moment they forget that I am actually a woman. And I guess that people may have trouble understanding that too. But if there is someone like me who goes on TV to talk about it, I think it is very brave. Maybe we don't understand it, but at least we can respect that persons feelings.

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Did you come accross someone who spoke to you about how terrible it was to see that pregnant man on TV? I didn't. I think they don't care, they don't mind and they just see it as something fascinating, just like me.

Actually, I didn't come across anyone who said this; it's just that I and everyone I know have trouble understanding how someone who identifies so strongly as male (Mr. Beatie said he feels unquestionably male even while pregnant) would want to be pregnant. I mean, I'm very strongly female, and I would love to be pregnant. But every man I know would hate it.

I think the person on the street feels the same way. You have to admit, it's inconsistent.

Well, exactly!

I strongly identify as a woman. I am not even androgyne in my behaviour or looks. I have very long hair, a very feminine body and I love being a woman. I love a tall masculine partner because that makes me feel extra feminine. I LOVE it. That is why I don't go around telling everyone that I sometimes love to have sex with smooth, versatile feminine openminded gay men who like to experiment, and pretending to be male and be on top and do anything a gay top would do, and penetrate that man with my strap-on. And believe me, for a moment they forget that I am actually a woman. And I guess that people may have trouble understanding that too. But if there is someone like me who goes on TV to talk about it, I think it is very brave. Maybe we don't understand it, but at least we can respect that persons feelings.

You're right, I don't understand what you describe. I hate pretending to be male--which I often have to do at my job because I work mostly with men. [makes disgusted face] One of the reasons I avoid relationships is because I don't want to live as an actress playing a man.

I think some people want to use the gender outlaws as "proof" that the whole TG community is crazy. Because of this, I think all of us, whether in stealth or not, should be on our best behavior, to improve our image in the eyes of the person on the street. This doesn't mean acting like robots, but rather, it means we should try to be within range of acceptable public behavior (anything goes in private, though :) ).

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I think some people want to use the gender outlaws as "proof" that the whole TG community is crazy. Because of this, I think all of us, whether in stealth or not, should be on our best behavior, to improve our image in the eyes of the person on the street. This doesn't mean acting like robots, but rather, it means we should try to be within range of acceptable public behavior (anything goes in private, though :) ).

I fully agree with you. I think Thomas' public appearances felt in this range of acceptable behaviour.

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I think some people want to use the gender outlaws as "proof" that the whole TG community is crazy. Because of this, I think all of us, whether in stealth or not, should be on our best behavior, to improve our image in the eyes of the person on the street. This doesn't mean acting like robots, but rather, it means we should try to be within range of acceptable public behavior (anything goes in private, though :) ).

I fully agree with you. I think Thomas' public appearances felt in this range of acceptable behaviour.

Then I suppose that is where we disagree. Because biological males cannot become pregnant, a transman being open about being pregnant (he could have hidden it--my mom thought he just had a beer belly) is not acceptable because he is flaunting his "gender outlaw" status--a biological female who transitioned to the male role, only to make the fullest use imaginable of his female biology.

But if biological males could become pregnant--and there were biological males other than MTFs who did it--then I would have no problem with Thomas Beatie.

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Then I suppose that is where we disagree. Because biological males cannot become pregnant, a transman being open about being pregnant (he could have hidden it--my mom thought he just had a beer belly) is not acceptable because he is flaunting his "gender outlaw" status--a biological female who transitioned to the male role, only to make the fullest use imaginable of his female biology.

But if biological males could become pregnant--and there were biological males other than MTFs who did it--then I would have no problem with Thomas Beatie.

I was working in Malaysia and Singapore at the time when Thomas came into the news. I was watching Ellen on Satellite TV that comes with a one-day delay and broadcast by cable, so the authorities can censor anything they think inappropriate. Ellen announced Thomas in the beginning of the programme so I was anticipating an interesting hour, in order to notice that the entire interview had been cut out. I only saw him recently on Larry King Live when I was in Thailand that comes through uncut. My question to you is: did any of the interviewers ask him why he came out with this controversial story? Have any of our questions been answered by Thomas in any interview? Why do you think he did the TV-routine? Personally, I would indeed not go on TV with this if I had been a pregnant transman. Also, I believe they wouldn't get paid, they might just have received expenses like transportation, hotels, food paid.

Biological males can indeed not get pregnant. But maybe one day in the future this might be possible. Most likely this will happen after science finds a way to get MtF's pregnant. I think it is only a matter of time. If one can transplant faces etc, one day they will be able to transplant a uterus into a MtF (probably one that is taken out of a transman haha).

Also, I can envision in the future a couple that share a great love with each other. Let's say that for some reason the woman cannot get pregnant or has a bigger medical problem. Perhaps her loving sensitive husband may carry the baby (if technically possible in 50 years), even if he doesn't relate to motherhood. Just an act of love. I wouldn't exclude this as possibility. God only knows whether in 100 years women still carry babies. Perhaps by then it will be considerd a nuissance and they grow babies in laboratories.

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This has been a very interesting thread to read. I think all parties have been very thoughtful in their posts. I can only give perspective from a non tg person, but I believe that for the greater good of the ts/tg community, I have to lean towards GirlInside's view. I think if there had already been much progress made in the acceptance of tg folks by the general public, it may be great to begin showing the lifestyles of folks like Thomas Beattie, but I know that from what I see in my day to day life, and from working in a predominantly male office of all sorts of guys, blue collar, white collar and everything in between, stories like this do not further the acceptance of tg folks in their mind, it is the opposite. Pretty much a story like this is viewed by the general public as something pretty freakish. If the tg people do gain general acceptance down the road, it won't be through hearing stories like this, or by seeing the media go ape over over-the-,top drag queens, but by a slow assimilation of transgendered folks into their spaces, ie: work, school, TV and community in a non threatening and non-sensationalized way. I personally would love for that to happen. I'm not saying I like that this is the way it is, quite the contrary. But this is the way I see it.

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I agree, this is indeed an interesting thread, as it shows how important we feel about the approval of cis-people, how sensitive we feel about our peers’ behaviour in public, and the importance of “saving face”, not only for ourselves but as a minority group as a whole, and the need to be “given face” by the larger community. Sorry if you don’t know about the importance of the “Face-thing” for Asians.

I have lived and worked in many different cultures, mostly Asian, African, South-American and European, so I have learned to present myself the middle way, to never go extreme, to keep a low profile, to be flexible and adopt local customs quickly, as not to offend anyone. I have spent the least time in the USA.

Anyways, I do agree that we will be best accepted and understood if our peers reflect the general feelings of us. I myself feel embarrassed if I see a MtF on television that doesn’t reflect what I consider good advertising material for MtF’s. To this day I hold my breath when I see a post-op on a talk-show with a baritone voice, bad hair and nothing feminine about her body-language and contents of speach. I giggle when I see a “man in every way” who says “I am a girl.” I feel great when I see a beautiful MtF on TV that many cis-women would love to look like. I love to see a passable MtF with a husband and some adopted children. I would love to hear cis-people say: well, I can understand why she needed to be a woman because there is nothing male about this person.So I do get everyone of you who feel uncomfortable with Thomas Beatie. I just wanted to throw in this conversation a different point of view, perhaps an Asian Buddhist point of view of acceptance and tolerance and respecting an individual’s choice, his/her own karmic difficulties.

I am two-faced myself, being anxious to see only great MtF's and FtM's in the media that don’t embarrass us, and yet, as a Buddhist I like to practice tolerance and acceptance and be open-minded about things that fall outside heteronormativity/transnormativity.

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How ironic that so many here, who wish to be accepted by society, are so ready to reject others whom they don't identify with or understand. I hate to break the news to you kids, but simply by *being* transgendered you are already flying in the face of what most people consider "normal".

"Ah", you say, "But I identify as a normal woman (or man). I'm not at all like those gender outlaws or those porno shemales or that pregnant man, so that makes me more worthy of society's acceptance." "Besides, I don't understand those people either, so I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and disavow and distance myself from these freaks too, just like (I believe) all the other normal people do." "That should earn me extra brownie points towards being accepted as normal too!"

Ah yes, trans-hierarchy is alive and well. <_< How bloody sad.

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Thank you Shannon for your intelligent observation.

I also wonder why some of us are so desperately trying to receive approval from cis-people. I cannot define it in another way than insecurity. I think generally transpeople are doing fine, analyzing their own behaviour to detail and desperately trying to fit in to some sort of world they consider normal. I don't know what normal is, and Thomas Beatie doesn't know what normal is, which is being reflected in his company name "Define Normal". Have a good look at the cis-world, shake your heads, and then feel proud that you are not like most them--that you are in many ways more sensitive about fitting in that "illusion" called normal then cis-people. Don't strive to be like them. Be happy and proud of what you are. "May we live in interesting times", the Chinese say. Our T-people definitely make life more interesting.

I do not seek people's approval. No matter whether they are LGTB, or CIS, or from Mars, Pluto or Uranus. Over the past 40 years I have given thousands of jobs to cis-people, hence I supported tens of thousands of people, so many families, all over the world. If one of them thinks I am a freak and laughs at me just because I fixed my birth defect.... well, so be it. I feel it as if I am being laughed at by a cockroach (an Asian expression).

I know my friends, my family (11 adopted children from various countries who needed a home, security and the love of a parent) respect and like me. Much more important than receiving approval of television audiences I don't even know.

Again, I think there is nothing Thomas should have done differently. He has my full support, respect and love. I wish there were more like him. Again I hope for more acceptance, tolerance and understanding within our own little T-world.

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Thank you Patricia. :) Your postings are always a pleasure to read and reflect my own feelings much more eloquently than I could ever put them.

~Shannon

I also wonder why some of us are so desperately trying to receive approval from cis-people. I cannot define it in another way than insecurity. I think generally transpeople are doing fine, analyzing their own behaviour to detail and desperately trying to fit in to some sort of world they consider normal. I don't know what normal is, and Thomas Beatie doesn't know what normal is, which is being reflected in his company name "Define Normal". Have a good look at the cis-world, shake your heads, and then feel proud that you are not like most them--that you are in many ways more sensitive about fitting in that "illusion" called normal then cis-people. Don't strive to be like them. Be happy and proud of what you are. "May we live in interesting times", the Chinese say. Our T-people definitely make life more interesting.

I do not seek people's approval. No matter whether they are LGTB, or CIS, or from Mars, Pluto or Uranus. Over the past 40 years I have given thousands of jobs to cis-people, hence I supported tens of thousands of people, so many families, all over the world. If one of them thinks I am a freak and laughs at me just because I fixed my birth defect.... well, so be it. I feel it as if I am being laughed at by a cockroach (an Asian expression).

I know my friends, my family (11 adopted children from various countries who needed a home, security and the love of a parent) respect and like me. Much more important than receiving approval of television audiences I don't even know.

Again, I think there is nothing Thomas should have done differently. He has my full support, respect and love. I wish there were more like him. Again I hope for more acceptance, tolerance and understanding within our own little T-world.

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Thank you Shannon, that is very kind of you. So your approval of my ideas do actually matter to me... Having read through most of the stuff on this site over the past two weeks, this thread has been most important and interesting to me. I think some of the replies should be collected in a document and pinned. I think it is important for everyone in our group to understand the importance of what I have been preaching in all my replies; observations, advice and ideas that, to my horror, only few of us really agree with.

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