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where did all the comments go?

I have been reading and actively contributing to Jack Molay’s Crossdreamers since 2011; even penning one or two guest posts over that time.

One of the notable trends since then has been the dramatic reduction in comments which seems to parallel the advancement of transgender people in society. Whereas before you would read testimonials from people trying to find their identity and understand themselves, the increased visibility and awareness of our situation in society seems to have quieted the angst. I remember comment streams that would extend up to 30 or 40 in response to one of his articles.

I am in no way saying that this is representative of a lowering of our guard in defending our rights but more a relaxing based on shared experience and knowing we are increasingly supported.

It is no small task to have gotten this far and Jack’s site has been pivotal in exploring the nuances of this complex topic which has been attempted to be simplified by those driven by their own agendas.

Maybe it’s a small sign that transgender people are feeling increasingly comfortable and our anxiety has been soothed in conjunction with our societal advancement.


Comments

  1. I like to think that the most important reason is as you say: The increasing tolerance of gender variance means that transgender people (in the wide umbrella sense of the word) feel less need to discuss crossdreaming and the stigma of being some shade of trans.

    I also suspect that we (that is trans activists and bloggers like you, Felix Conrad and myself) have actually managed get our message through. Sure, there are transphobic TERFs and political and religious extremists who still use the autogynephilia theory to stigmatize and exclude trans people, but the trans people themselves have now a lot of resources documenting the fallacy of that theory, giving them alternative non-toxic narratives helping them make peace with this side of themselves.

    I also suspect that autogynephilia has become much a non issue among many millennials. Whenever I post something about crossdreaming over at tumblr (an important watering hole for transgender millennials and gen Zs) the response is weak.

    This could obviously be caused by the stigma attached to this side of being trans, but from what I see it is more a result of them finding the whole discussion uninteresting. The desperate need to fit the traditional binaries of sex and gender has been weakened, which is good.

    Moreover, the very few in our community that support the autogyephilia theory (Cloudy and wxhlp%&#) have behaved in ways that have made them lost all legitimacy.

    There are other reasons as well. The Crossdream Life forum over at http://crossdreamlife.com gives room for crossdreamers telling their own story and asking likeminded people for help. And there are other forums.

    Moreover, people are -- in general -- less likely to engage in discussions at traditional blogs, using various social media instead. This does not mean that the blogs are not read. Mine definitely continue to draw in a lot of visitors.

    Nor does this mean that we can declare victory and close our blogs down. There remains a large number of gender variant people who suffer from external and internalized transphobia and who suffer immensely from not being able to reconcile themselves with their crossdreaming.

    The recent extremist backlash tells me that transphobia may ruin the lives of young trans people, even now. I am convinced that the toxic sexism found in parts of the 4chan community is also affecting young MTF crossdreamers. I get messages and mails using terms like "beta male" and "sissy" to describe the crossdreaming experience, which is -- at least -- problematic.

    So: Let us celebrate what we have achieved, while keeping in mind that the war is not over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jack I cannot add any more to what you have said other than agree that the war is not over but we have been winning most of the battles of late. I am imagining one of these Blanchardians going on a nationally televised program and explaining their theories to the uninitiated and just leaving the audience in disbelief. They wouldn't dare.

      I am not closing my blog down although I was tempted for a time as my own angst dissipated. I am now mostly writing for others and because I enjoy it.

      Keep up the good fight :)

      Delete
  2. oh and yes I agree that its ho hum for the millenials because they have zero stigma over something we were traumatized by. They are more open regarding their sexuality because they did not grow up in the dark ages like I did. This gives them that extra edge to completely laugh off AGP as a repugnant fairy tale theory :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I always love to read your blog as well as Jack's. In case Jack sees this I wish he'd publish more often!

    I've also noticed a reduction in participation in TG websites. I'm a moderator on the Transgender Guide and at times it's like a ghost land. I've pondered the reasons too; here's my list:

    1) Short attention spans. It seems to me that social media, especially FB but also Reddit, have filled a need for many. Especially younger folks seem to prefer 1-2 sentence snippets.

    2) Demographic shift. Let's face it, although I expect to be around for another 20-30 years I've already lost several who had had TG blogs and such. The population of people in our age cohort is not growing! There is a local TG convention called "Gender Odyssey" that has cancelled it's adult program because the one for children, teens, and families has grown so much.

    3) Specialized needs/wants. For a time I also participated in CrossdreamLife but after awhile I found that it didn't fit for me. Nothing bad, just chemistry and interests I guess. I suspect this happens a lot and we'll never know what didn't fit - if it matters.

    I would disagree that millennials have "zero stigma" and issues about being trans. I think it's a rough road even for families in areas such as mine. Just last night I exchanged emails with my old therapist (now a friend, albeit a one-sided friendship): has a teen client who wants to start FTM hormones and is battling his family. Still, the mere fact that they are seeking professional help is revolutionary.

    And about AGP: from what I have (not) read and seen, I think it's largely dead or at least suffering from severe dementia. RIP!

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    Replies
    1. Emma it may not be zero stigma but I can tell you (and you know this) we were really in the dark ages with no information and at least they have support structure we did not :)

      Delete

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