Triggering is good. Triggering happens when some part of Kyriarchy which had seemed so normal I was barely conscious of it impinges on consciousness like feeling returning to a numb limb. Then I am scared and angry and paralysed and I may start weeping- I will not react with that calm which I prize- or else, I go back to numbness which I can notice later. I once thought this meaningless jargon. It is part of the healing process.

I found Diva magazine in WH Smith on Leicester station. Is it for me? It is trying: its “Great big lesbian dictionary” has “MTF: Male-to-female transsexual. Better known as trans woman. Or just woman. Trans women can be lesbians too.” Should that need saying? On facebook, they asked, “Would you date a trans woman?” and had some objections, which firm up my view. Saying you would never date a trans woman is like saying you would never date a black woman, or at least saying you would never date a woman with a particular physical condition. I am a woman.

The January issue has an article on transphobia in the lesbian community. It is by a trans woman who says she is “hetero-romantic”- she dates men. That triggered me. On what other subject would they ask a straight woman to write about lesbian issues? How dare they? It brings up for me all that stuff about being a “secondary” transsexual for being gynaephile.

The article is almost entirely negative. The author spoke at Dyke March London- a strong acceptance- yet barely mentions that. Instead, she writes of unpleasant experiences with individuals. She interviewed a couple, one trans and one cis. They would have mentioned their joyous experiences, and are quoted on their bad ones. That facebook thread had a lot of positive comments about us, and only a negative one is quoted: we try too hard to be over-feminine, apparently. Julie Bindel “seems to have accepted that bullying trans people is no longer acceptable”- muted cheers for Julie Bindel- but talks of a “war raging” with feminists. This is really not what I want to hear. Why not write how the couples met and how they love each other?

The fashion pages show the “rock chick” look- check shirt, t-shirt with a skull on it and grey jeans, in one photo- and that orange thing really does nothing for their cover girl. There are tips on finding a therapist as you might find in any woman’s magazine. There are interviews with lesbian musicians, and a note of “The Trans Comedy award”. I would read it if they treated me like any other lesbian. They are not there yet.

9 thoughts on “Diva

  1. Dear Clare

    We inch forward. Always.

    You write, “how dare they?” ask as straight woman to write about lesbian issues. They just do. To them, it is normal and acceptable, rather like the “expert” on disability who is able bodied and handsomely remunerated for his so-called expertise.

    Or the department for disability studies peopled by able-bodied lecturers who teach and write about things they have no direct experience of: financial exclusion, prejudice, sexual constraints, etc etc etc. In most fields where prejudice has been made illegal, the nonsense this makes of the study is obvious and would not be tolerated for long. In areas where prejudice is more about ignorance….it takes longer.

    Which is why you should be sending out your articles to the specialist mainstream press. Get started. Just do it. The world needs more informed people like you to tell the world how it is.

    XXX 🙂


    • It is enough for them to get a trans woman as the writer. They probably do not understand the tensions between some representations and representatives of androphile and gynephile trans women, though I would have hoped they could enter imaginatively into them because of their feeling of the tensions among androphile and gynephile cis women. I wrote to the editor about this.

      Edward Said, Orientalism, has biting things to say about being defined from outside.


  2. Pingback: Diva « lgbticons

    • It gets better. People get to know us, come to accept us, do not judge us on one bad experience. You know. And in the UK, we can get a “gender recognition certificate” having expressed our true sex for long enough and with two medical reports that we will be so life long. Only about 3000 GRCs have been issued. There are not that many of us visible.


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