May 9, 2014

Survey of truscum transsexual separatists

raeltran over at tumblr has published a survey of truscum.

Truscum is a predominantly online phenomenon playing out on the social media site tumblr. This is group of transsexuals who are trying to appropriate the word "transgender" for themselves, and forbid non-transsexual gender variant people from using it. For some reason they feel embarrassed by using the word transsexual, but think the term "true scum" is a good one.
Photo: Bs/Wei, thinkstock

I am not sure to what extent this survey is representative, but if it is, it gives us some interesting information about the composition of the  truscum  separatist tribe.

1. Most of them are female to male transsexual.

Unlike the previous separatist movement, the "Classic Transsexual/HBS tribe", they are men (assigned female at birth).

This rhymes with my general impression: The younger generation of trans women are not following the separatist line. This also helps explain the lack of co-operation between the old female and the new male  generation of separatists.

2. The truscum are young. 

Over 80 percent are between 15 and 25 years old.

This may partly explain their lack of knowledge of transgender history. It seems to me that most of them truly believes the word "transgender" equals "transsexual". I do not think they are lying or trying to deceive (at least not most of them). This paradox can only be explained them lacking an understanding of transgender history.

3. 75 percent are white and  73 percent are American. 

All the respondents come from English speaking, Anglo-Saxon/Irish, countries.

In short: We are talking about a movement predominantly driven by American white men.  This may partly explain their desperate need to purify the word transgender from crossdresser/crossdreamer/genderqueer contamination.

In the US we see an increasing acceptance of transsexuals following the traditional "men trapped in a woman's body" narrative. We do not see a similar acceptance of non-dysphoric and non-transitioning transgender people, who often are considered sexual perverts by "experts" and laypeople alike. In other words: Expelling crossdressers, crossdreamers, girlfags and other questionable individuals from the transgender movement may allay any suspicions people have of the truscum being "unclean".

That being said: The great majority of truscum accepts that non-binary identities are valid with gender dysphoria.  In this they differ from the previous generation of separatists, where most required gender dysphoria and a strong identification with the traditional interests, abilities and temperaments of their target sex.

See also:
"You are not one of us!" said the separatist transsexualTruscum and the Transgender War of Words

realtran has also written a post on the reception of the survey, which is worth reading.

PDF-version of survey (date May 9 2014)


  1. Jack I know you find a lot of what is being written by these people is inappropriate and discriminatory but if you reflect on it what does a 20 year old know about life in general? How educated are they in gender theory? anybody can post anything they want on the net but the true litmus test will be where all this chatter will sonehow influence the serious study of gender dysohoria.

    I am not telling you not to keep up with what is being written out there but at a certain point in time we need to block out the useless static that serves no purpose.

    The average civilian cares not one whit about gender theory and so the real fight is with those we need to educate on these matters.


  2. That is interesting; As a male to female transsexual who is uneasy with the umbrella of "transgender", but not one to reject it out of hand, I find the idea of referring or identifying myself with anything demeaning to be unacceptable. However, I suppose it that group of people who embrace the identity are like a subgroup of people from my generation who were gay and embraced the indentity of queer, reclaiming it from those who used it as a term of hate directed at them.
    Lauren Tancyus

  3. @joanna,

    A minority of them are actually quite knowledgeable. See for instance this follow up discussion over at tumblr.

    You are right, though: The real fight is educating the non-transgender people.


    I get your point. But it is fascinating to see how transgender -- which used to be the toxic term, now becomes the preferred term for young transsexuals, mainly because transsexual is associated with porn.

  4. It shows how unimportant the language really is since it falls in and out of vogue depending on the era. This is why I am sticking exclusively with gender dysphoria as a unifying and inclusive term.

    This is in fact what we are dealing with.


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