Tag Archives: gender dysphoria

There Were No “Men Thinking They’re Napoleon” – Debunking Anti-Trans Armchair Psych

26 Dec

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Inevitably, when trans folks existence gets mentioned online, the topic gets bombarded with folks throwing out half-remembered medical/psychological diagnoses about what is “really” going on. Now, armchair philosophy isn’t exclusive to topics related to trans stuff by any means, or is it any less annoying or hostile. I’ve just observed enough that I found common patterns I want to address/de-construct directly.

Also, a reminder that if someone online is claiming to be a professional and throwing around dismissive and pathological implications of your behavior and what medical/psychological measures you “should” be taking to address them, that is very likely a violation of their professional license.

That said, for starters, I actually kind of love when people start throwing this one around: because it proves their knowledge of psychology begins and ends with Bugs Bunny:

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That’s not a thing. “Men who think they were Napoleon” was never a thing. Ever.

It’s a frequently cited example of classic 19th century “schizophrenia” symptoms, but has no actual recorded documentation of such. On page 604 of William James’ 1890 treatise Principles Of Psychology, he describes instances of hypnotizing men to believe they are Napoleon (amongst other things), but only temporarily. It was also used an early-20th century comedy trope misrepresenting the Adlerian concept “Napoleon Complex”. It’s referenced in cartoons, Laurel and Hardy shorts, and even used as a prominent character trait for one of the antagonists in John Steinbeck’s classic story Of Mice And Men. Ironically, Napoleon Complex itself also been proven not to be a thing. Hell, Napoleon wasn’t even particularly short for his time.

But, nine times out of ten, the reason people think it is a thing is because of this:

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The classic 1956 Bugs Bunny cartoon “Napoleon Bunny-Part” more or less established this concept to mainstream audiences. And, hilariously, you see people reference it like they are citing a case study.

This sort of stuff, however, I don’t have quite the sense of humor for:

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Comparisons between gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia are inevitable, and always bunk. They aren’t clasified the same, they aren’t treated the same, and they do not respond to the same treatments. Conflation of the two is also very dangerous, because many trans folks experience dysmorphic disorders (eating disorders, self-harm ideations) that need to be treated separately. Also, reminder that Paul McHugh is a domestic terrorist hack and considered a laughingstock by his peers and pretty much anyone but the anti-trans right wing.

Anyway, the “really not thinking this through” award goes to this sort of crap:

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So, like, how do folks that propose this think this will work? First of all, it’s actually kind of difficult to get committed to a state mental hospital, without police or family escort. Unless you are considered an immediate threat to yourself or someone else, such places are actually reluctant to take folks in, because of costs. For that, these religous right dweebs can thank their idol Ronald Reagan. The idea that politically inconvenient folks can be mass-boarded in mental asylums away from the sight of “decent” people like in a Victorian Novel hasn’t been a thing for decades.

Speaking of cost, who would be paying for this? I thought these sort of dweebs were small government/no-taxation without representation don’t tread on me types?

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Right now, even as underfunded as they are, the average yearly cost per state to run their institutional hospitals is over $188,000. By comparison, even though data is limited, the cost for transgender health care is looking like around $77,000 a year (and this data is from an extremely liberal area). Opponents trot out the expense of surgery, but there’s only a handful of surgeons that even take insurance. Many of the well-known surgeons popular for their pioneering techniques do not. Yes, more surgeons will likely be emerging in the future, but what folks that aren’t trans may not be aware of is that word-of-mouth is a huge influence on doctor choice. Many of us forego insurance covered doctors for others with better recommendations. Coverage costs have always sailed way under predictions every time for this and other reasons.

And yeah, I’m definitely putting more thought into this than any of them are. I’m sure someone is gonna diagnose me with something or other for that. Feel free to do so in the comments I guess.

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F*ggot As Gender Identity, Detransition As A Form Of Suicide.

28 Sep faggot detransition gender dysphoria

“I shall never forget the unspeakable horror that froze the lymph in my glands when the baneful word seared my reeling brain – I was a homosexual. I thought of the painted, simpering female impersonators I had seen in a Baltimore nightclub. Could it be possible I was one of those subhuman things? I walked the streets in a daze, like a man with a light concussion. I would have destroyed myself but a wise old queen; Bobo, we called her, taught me that I had a duty to live and to bear my burden proudly for all to see.” – William Burroughs

detransition gender dysphoria

I’ve brought it up a few times, but I grew up Assemblies Of God and went Southern Baptist at 12 because they were more liberal. I’m not even building up to a joke here. In any case, attending huge tent revivals was a common occurrence throughout my entire childhood and adolescence. You’d be lectured for an hour and then people would stand in line for several more hours to repent, to publicly beat at their chest and renounce all their sins and reaffirm their devotion to God or whatever.

Watch enough of them and you’d see repeat performers… folks that had suddenly hit a brand new rock bottom of fornication and decadence or whatever and would be up front with the others, beating their chest and confessing to increasingly absurd transgressions against their fellow man.

This is relevant probably.

Anyway, you waste enough time on the transgender corner of the internet and eventually you start stumbling across detransition blogs. They’re always anonymous, declaring an unnamed dread of being discovered by this shapeless mob of “trans activists” out to ruin their lives for telling “the truth.” There’s this flair for the dramatic amongst the conspiracies and the increasingly absurd confessions of transgressions; this idea that the curtain is being drawn on “what the trans activists don’t want you to hear.”

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What they all have in common is an assurance that they know what they are now. Many claim to be gay men, but others actually claim to have discovered with horror that they were autogynephiles the whole time. Seriously. I personally know at least half a dozen funny, sweet and brilliant trans women that have all killed themselves this year before they’d barely started their twenties and yet some pathetic porn-sick creatures can read the documentation on what autogynephilia is, decide “well hot damn that totally describes me” and somehow not feel inspired to stick their head in the oven.

This is why I know there is no God.

I any case, I don’t claim to know shit. I don’t have any answer as to who or what I am and am not really sure there is such an answer. I don’t “identify as a woman”, whatever that means, but have experience a lifelong disassociation and revulsion towards being socially processed through “manhood.” This has meant quite a few different things in my life, mostly because I had no language to describe or understand it.

rani bakerAnd I’ve been dealing with this for decades.

The thing is, I wasn’t really processed through “manhood”, at least not in the sense of being socialized like a heteronormative hegemonic man (as if there was such a thing in a universal sense). From a very young age I was coded by society as a “faggot,” and my socialization was filtered through that coding. I was groomed towards appeasement and subservience to men and coded as deserving of violence and marginalization without resource for complaint. I was groomed to desire approval from and to appeal towards masculine idealizations, while also being held at arms length from any chance of owning them.

I’ve been a eunuch my whole life, regardless of whether I had balls. Faggot was my “gender identity”.

detransition gender dysphoriaReminder that “TERF is a slur” but faggot is a radfem-endorsed social identity.

Anyway, a little over a decade ago, I was coerced into detransition by my radical feminist-devoted boyfriend at the time. He was my second (and second longest) relationship I’ve ever had. I loved him like crazy; hell, I still do. He was brilliant and wordly and passionate, had impeccable music and artistic taste, and he fucked like a goddamn howitzer.

True story: the first time we fucked, it was to the Mindless Self-Indulgence Song “Faggot“.

detransition gender dysphoriaI have no pics of us then, so here’s one from 2006. Yes I’m still friends with him.

But he was also a verbally abusive alcoholic that used to tell me shit like “you’re not a woman; you’re a guy that I fuck in the ass and I wish you’d just accept that.” I wrote about it in my comic, but have never until now included the last page online because it was too painful:

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Where was the Trans Cabal during all this? The one that is supposedly out there pressuring all the gender non-conforming people to transition? Oh right, they were too busy not existing.

detransition gender dysphoriawell, besides existing in the imaginations of transphobic gaybros

But how did I get to that point anyway? Well, nobody gives a shit about tired old stories of pre-teen crossdressing and childhood dreams of being able to break my dick off like a pencil so I could stop fretting about it or whatever. Stories of shoplifting lipstick and a hollowed out teddy bear full of stockings and skirts. Boring shit that folks always trot out their own variation of. Nobody cares.

I feel it’s worth repeating however that literally the first thing I bought with my own money (earned from my job in the dorm cafeteria) when I’d moved away from family to go to college was a (truly hideous) dress and some (appallingly cheap) makeup.

detransition gender dysphoriaNo pic of that either, so here’s me at legendary punk club Einsteins in 1995.

I didn’t really have the language to understand what the hell was going on tho. “Transgender” wasn’t really a word I had back then, and I don’t recall whether I’d used “transsexual” either. In college I’d read “Transsexual Empire” and it’s spiritual sister book “The Pink Swastika” and similar anti-gay books, seemingly most from the 80s. This was literally the only literature on the subject available in a college library in the 1990s. So I became one of those late-90s internet-addicted transsexuals one reads about. Still have my copy of Creating A Feminine Carriage and Melanie Speaks circa-1999 to prove it.

detransition gender dysphoriaSays a lot that I held onto both through a decade of detransition, really.

Back then I still had no idea how to, like, be trans tho. I was a semi-professional drag queen, which gave me a place to explore presentation and also offered me a place to meet men that could potentially find me desirable. I ordered crap fake hormones from crossdresser magazines to bolster the hardcore hormones I was buying from drag queens that smuggled them up from Mexico.

detransition gender dysphoriaMe at infamous Killeen drag bar Krossover, circa 2000-ish

But, like, I knew I was something different than a drag queen, but what? I attended transsexual support meetings full of sneering old ladies sitting bolt upright with their purses in their laps. Women that wrinkled their noses at my leather jacket and Walgreens lipstick, called me “drag queen” and “misguided faggot” behind my back. Hell I didn’t even know if I “wanted to be a woman,” whatever that meant. For the majority of my transition, I only knew one other trans woman that didn’t despise me. And because my life is a fucking disaster, I wound up dating her after detransition.

detransition gender dysphoriaEven more awkward, now she’s a guy again and thinks I’m disgusting.

To add further insult to injury, I had met an actual relatively famous trans activist (Ann Tagonist) shortly before my detransition, and she couldn’t help me. She actually recognized me from my tattoos related to my gender-angst comic Why I’m Not An Artist, which she’d read at a zine library in Portland. We were pen pals for about a year then lost contact anti-climatically. The universe loves to fuck with me.

I remember someone asking me, after hearing about my detransition, “So you pursued a sex change and gave up; what does that make you now?”. Honestly, I had no clue.

After detransition I figured if I had to be a guy, I might as well have some fun with it. I embraced absurd, flamboyant male dressings; arrow collars and exotic suit jackets and such. My gender identity was Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue.

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I figured folks that had known me for so long would have gotten the joke; this over-the-top expression of rock star masculine swagger I’d suddenly adopted. Nobody got the joke. Hell, after long enough, I’d lost the plot so much I wasn’t getting it either.

A funny thing about being a dude when you don’t want to be; you can deliberately kill yourself slowly in front of everyone and get cheered on for it. You can drink to the point where your skin is flushed from puking and pick up another drink while sobbing about your childhood and everyone just pats you on the back and is like “wow that dude is a party animal.”

If you’re charming and funny enough, nobody questions your judgement.

I’ve had dudes tell me how “dramatic” I became post-transition, and it’s like “wait, you fucking saw me smash a whiskey bottle and cut myself in public once because I was sad when I was a guy”.

faggot detransition gender dysphoriayeah this dude had it all together and wasn’t literally imploding in on himself

Detransition was the worst fucking thing that ever happened to me. I regret it every day; dwelling on how I already knew things about myself and worked on them and then gave up. I was a coward and a failure and pathetic for doing it.

And yet going back to that misery is constantly advocated to me and folks like me.

detransition gender dysphoria“you’re not a woman; you’re a guy that I fuck in the ass…”

Let’s not fucking pretend what people really mean when the push for this is “hurry the fuck up and die and get out of my way”. Because that is what detransitioning again would do to me. And I guess the universe isn’t done fucking with me yet.

Cyberpunk Dysphoria.

25 Jan

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Reading over theories  and aesthetic projects on how to use makeup and fashion and such in order to subvert facial recognition software and otherwise alter facial mapping, I realized a few things. Outside of the frequently made new-wave/cyber-punk connection, I also realized that I’d consciously endeavored to distort my facial plane constantly in my public presentation. I’ve worn makeup near-daily, and nearly 100% of the time I’ve appeared in public, since I was 17. More often than not it was garishly done and asymmetric.

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Compare to this chart of facial-recognition thwarting makeup:

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It would be as inaccurate to say that trying to live as a man meant I was not gender dysphoric as it would to say that a monogamous relationship would suddenly make me not bisexual. My dysphoria colored and recoded a lot of my experiences, and I have to wonder if this conscious nullifying of identifiable features was a product of it. It’s became so seemingly obvious that I nicknamed the stage makeup/facepaint I’ve been wearing the past three and a half years as “dysphoria monster” (also the name of the cover image of the album Chevalier D’Eon).

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