2 Replies to “Two Tune Tuesday: St. Julian”

  1. I have to say… I mostly don’t like Kate Bornstein (although I think hir book about suicide was good). Most trans women don’t like Kate Bornstein.

    1) Zie uses transsexual as a noun as in “I am a transsexual”, as though transsexual is an ending state in and of itself. If someone wants to say “I am a queer” that’s their own right, but I would rather they say I am queer. I think she regularly belittles the idea that assigned male-bodied transitioners feel they’re women. Yes, some of it is done with humor, but zie uses our identities (not hirs) as a point of humor, and zie does it for mostly queer audiences who already have a lot of issues about acknowledging trans people’s identities (especially transmasculine queer people, who tend to have a lot of issues with transwomen).

    2) She claims her big motto is: “Do whatever it takes to make your life more worth living,” she writes, “just don’t be mean.” However, she makes a video like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVprxVvhix4

    It’s about trans women feminizing their voices which is about as mean-spirited as they come. Yes, she’s trying to make a point about gendering and expectations of what womanhood is, but zie ultimately holds trans women’s need for congruity, expression and safety up to ridicule (and, again, in front of audiences whose attitudes towards transwomen are not especially evolved). One has to ask “why did Bornstein get a boob job/facial surgery” if that’s just a social assumption of what womanhood looks like? Why transition at all? To me, expressing myself with a voice which overlaps the category “women’s voices” was as much about congruity as SRS or taking estrogen. Bornstein uses transwomen as objects of ridicule whenever zie wants to make brownie points with hir queer audiences… and that’s just plain mean. Basically, I see her as an exemplar of “tranny face.” Please, no one should use hir as any kind of a spokesperson for trans people.

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