The Dish: Engaging the T

Engaging The T

Andrew Sullivan, after a logical disclaimer, proceeds to have one of the better discussions of transgender activism I’ve seen online (disclaimer: I don’t read much that’s actually focused on sexual politics, so this is within mainstream circles). The reason I think this is important is that Sullivan is himself a cisgender male. He doesn’t purport to speak for the group, he lays out the path he’s walking (the, as he noted, treacherous one given his outsider status), and he plainly lays out the two important facts: that the public needs to accept the physiological reality of being transgendered (i.e. this is never something that is “in your head”), and that the transgender movement needs to accept that we, the cisgender public, are going to ask some dumb, invasive, maybe even offensive questions, not because we are bigoted, but because we genuinely don’t understand. It’s a hard path to be on considering that there is still a lot of real bigotry out there, but it’s one we need to walk.

Most striking line to me? “There’s a reason that Iran’s theocrats allow for sex-change operations but not gay relationships.” How’s that for understanding transgender reality.


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