June 16, 2014

A Transgender Novel Discussing "Autogynephilia" - Imogen Binnie's Nevada

Imogen Binnie has written a novel about the lives of two male to female crossdreamers. And yes, you should read it!
Photo of Imogen Binnie byJulie Blair 

There have been novels about crossdreaming before (Ernest Hemingway's Garden of Eden comes to mind), but I have never seen one who includes a discussion of the concept of "autogynephilia" (defined as men who get aroused by the idea of being women).

Imogen Binnie's Nevada does. And it does so because it is about two male to female crossdreamers: one lesbian punk trans woman, Maria Griffith, and one MTF crossdreamer living as a  heterosexual man: James.


It is a roller-coaster ride of a book, completely unlike any trans autobiography you might have read.

The language is colorful and explicit, and Binnie does not sugarcoat the lives of transgender people. Both James and Maria are suffering from the kind of traumatic stress disorder that gender confusion can bring. They are struggling with self acceptance, and find it hard to believe and embrace the love of others.

Maria is definitely intellectualizing  in an attempt to avoid feeling the hurt.

Crossdreaming unfiltered

Unlike many trans authors Binnie does not hide the crossdreaming -- i.e. the fact that trans people, being those crossdressers, transsexuals or other gender variant persons, may get aroused by the idea of being their target sex. She faces it head on, bringing it out into the open.

June 3, 2014

Janet Mock and Laverne Cox Embrace a Broad Interpretation of Transgender

Janet Mock and Laverne Cox are supporting the
transgender umbrella. Photo: Jamie McCarthy
Trans activists Janet Mock and Laverne Cox supports a wide definition of the word transgender. Mock's new book explains why.

Janet Mock's new autobiography should be obligatory reading for everyone interested in trans issues, and for various reasons. 

One is the fact that she throws light upon why some transsexual people feel such a need to invalidate other members of the transgender family.

Getting validation as a "real woman"

Mock tells the story about how she as a young transsexual woman ended up distancing herself from other trans people, insulting them in the process.

She writes:

"Growing up, I learned that being trans was not something you did take pride in; therefore, I yearned to separate myself from the dehumanizing depictions of trans women I saw in popular culture..."

Mock starts out by pointing out that umbrella terms like transgender can cause difficulties, as society often blurs the lines between drag queens and trans women.

This is highly problematic, Mock says, because this causes many people to believe that trans women, like drag queens, go home, take off their wigs and chest plates, and walk around as men:

"Trans Womanhood is not a performance or costume. As [Mock's friend] Wendi likes to joke, 'A drag queen is part-time for show-time, and a trans woman is all the time!"

Gender dysphoric drag queens and crossdressers

Still, when Mock does not dismiss the broader transgender alliance (or end up as truscum), this is because she learned to know drag queens and divas personally, and found that many of them are, in fact, transsexual women.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!