Compiled from a thread pinned to my Twitter profile on 15 December 2020.
In 2012, I transitioned. Looking back, I have mixed feelings about it. It brought relief to me but it certainly didn’t help my family.
Agradeço a Daniel Reynaldo por traduzir meu artigo para o português.
Sentimentos e opiniões deslocaram fatos e evidências em muitas áreas das ciências humanas. Isso não é novidade. Um fenômeno mais recente, no entanto, é a extensão dessa tendência no campo da biologia, que foi vítima da ideia de que os homens podem se tornar mulheres – e vice-versa – apenas recitando uma declaração de crença. É um movimento insidioso que combina o desprezo pós-moderno pela verdade objetiva com superstições religiosas pré-modernas sobre a natureza da alma humana.
A subordinação da ciência ao mito foi exemplificada no recente caso britânico de Maya Forstater, que perdeu o emprego depois de apontar a pura verdade de que pessoas trans como eu não podem mudar nosso sexo biológico por proclamação. “Concluo a partir de … da totalidade das evidências, que [Forstater] é absolutista em sua visão do sexo e é um componente essencial de sua crença que ela se referirá a uma pessoa pelo sexo que considerou apropriado”, concluiu o juiz James Tayler no seu tribunal da justiça trabalhista. “A abordagem não é digna de respeito em uma sociedade democrática.”
Debbie Hayton shared her journey exclusively with Hood magazine. Stories are central to the human experience. By sharing them we make profound connections, we understand more acutely, and our compassion grows. Here, Debbie Hayton shares hers…
Do you really need to do this? Do you not care about the rest of us at all?’ asked my wife, Stephanie. But my energies were overwhelmed by my own needs; an inward focus that left nothing for anyone else. After a lifetime spent hiding my inner turmoil, my mind revelled in what I thought were new freedoms. I was talking about my gender identity; how I was a woman trapped in a man’s body, and why I needed to transition. That was eight years ago, in 2012. It’s hard for me to remember how it took over my life, though maybe easier for Stephanie, who had to keep her feet on the ground while my head was in the clouds.
The heated transgender debate is aggravated by muddled language that has obfuscated discussion and clouded understanding. Dispute resolution requires clarity of thought, which in turn needs precision of language. In transgender politics, that starts by unravelling sex and gender, description and definition, and even the verbs to be and to do.
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.” With those words, JK Rowling threw herself into perhaps the most febrile debate in contemporary society. Even Covid-19 has not dampened the furore over transgender rights. As two world views collide, fundamental truths that previous generations thought were self-evident have been cast into doubt. What is a woman? what is a man? and how can we tell them apart?
“‘Personas menstruantes’. Estoy segura de que solía haber un nombre para estas personas”. Con estas palabras, JK Rowling se lanzó al que probablemente es el debate más febril de la sociedad contemporánea. Ni siquiera la covid-19 ha servido para atemperar el furor en torno al debate sobre los derechos de las personas transgénero. Conforme dos visiones del mundo colisionaban, algunas verdades fundamentales que generaciones anteriores consideraban indiscutibles han empezado a ponerse en duda. ¿Qué es una mujer? ¿Qué es un hombre? ¿Cómo podemos diferenciarlos?
Coronavirus has closed schools, grounded planes and even delayed the start of the cricket county championship, but it has not shut down the transgender debate. This often toxic and divisive issue has proved to be one of the hardiest items in the news agenda in recent years. And even a pandemic has done little to limit the exposure.
Birth certificates are the latest topic to provoke fury. But now there is a difference. While the discussion up to now has broadly surrounded the documents of transgender people, the Court of Appeal has just upheld a ruling about the documents of their children.
As Covid-19 spread across every continent, the world changed in ways that we could not have anticipated as recently as Christmas. “Self-isolation” and “social distancing” have entered the lexicon and taken root in my mind to such an extent that video clips of people breaking the two-metre rule seem to belong to another age, like old silent movies. These are – to use an overworked expression – unprecedented times.
But trans people have been living in unprecedented times that go back further than Christmas. While previously we were largely ignored by politicians and the media – apart from occasional salacious and often unwelcome feature articles – trans issues have been high in the news agenda for the past three years. That has not always been a blessing.
Las afirmaciones «las mujeres trans son mujeres» y «los hombres trans son hombres» han de estar compitiendo por erigirse como la frase definitoria de nuestros tiempos. En poco más de cinco años, el tema transgénero ha irrumpido con tal fuerza en la conciencia colectiva que el aún joven Día Internacional de la Visibilidad Transgénero parece ya anacrónico. Quizá deberíamos de remplazarlo por el Día del Discernimiento, porque, si bien las personas transgénero (como yo, por ejemplo) nos hemos vuelto bastante visibles, las razones por las que somos transgénero siguen ocultas en la sombra.
Trans women are women and trans men are men must be in contention for the defining statement of our age. In little more than five years, transgender awareness has burst into the public consciousness to the extent that the recent International Transgender Day of Visibility seems to be a relic of history. Maybe it could be replaced by a day of understanding? Because, while transgender people – like me, for example – have become very visible, the reasons why we are transgender are still hidden in the shadows.