Not your grandfather’s transgenderism

My latest piece at MercatorNet was actually written several weeks ago in an attempt to resolve some of the confusion surrounding transgenderism:

Transgenderism operates on two levels.

The basic level is how most of the public seem to understand it: transgender means a man becoming a woman or a woman becoming a man. It’s associated with sex change, and the social expectation is that the rest of us “play along” with the change so as not to embarrass the transgender person and give the game away. If they’re lucky, they can pull off the transition and everyone will just assume the man is actually a woman or the woman actually a man…

But there’s a more complex level of Transgenderism as well, and this complex level is not about a man becoming a woman or a woman becoming a man. Instead it is about breaking the connection between gender as a social construct and biological sex. It’s a different paradigm from the basic, popular understanding. This is not your grandfather’s Transgenderism.

Who owns the horror?

My latest piece at MercatorNet simply tries to sift through the confusion and conflict in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre.

When responding to a tragedy, people generally and the media in particular turn to pre-existing narratives to inform their responses. And despite the obviously homophobic nature of this attack, mass murder of homosexuals is simply not a common or contemporary narrative for the public to adopt…

In other contexts we are applauded for showing solidarity with the LGBT community, for being “blind” to sexual orientation. But in this instance otherwise well-meaning and ideologically aligned people have picked the wrong kind of solidarity, a solidarity that normalises the LGBT community but in the process diminishes the specifically homophobic nature of the attack. This conflicts with the LGBT community’s own narrative of victimisation, in which the massacre is an extension of homophobic violence more generally.

T comes right after LGB

My Paypal piece received mixed reviews, but my editor at MercatorNet liked it enough to republish it, whereupon the consensus from commenters was that I had either written a piece of satire, or the most deeply anti-gay screed ever published on that site.

The beauty of art appreciation is that there are no wrong answers. I guess that applies to article appreciation as well. Puts a different spin on internet comments, n’est-ce pas?

Anyhow, my latest piece at MercatorNet is a brief response to the apparent acceleration of the sexual revolution. We’re only in June and already it feels like Transgender Appreciation Month. My how time flies when you’re re-engineering social constructs of gender.