Labels

A nice take on labels by a Jessica Who:

(For the record, almost no one would consider permanent facial hair removal a medical, transsexual-oriented procedure, unless, of course, it’s the first of other procedures. Crossdressers might do the same in order to make passing easier while crossdressed.)

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

3 Comments

  1. While I like the concept of Jessica’s piece, many of the labels she sticks on herself are just wrong and appropriative. Doing hair removal while living as a crossdressing man doesn’t make you transsexual. And even though I’m not a great lover of the term, it doesn’t make you mtf either. While she might be genderfluid on some level she certainly isn’t genderqueer. She said she identifies as a man… therefore, not genderqueer.

    And this to me is one of the issues with the “transgender community”… entitlement (and ease) in appropriating what others have gone through and their identities. Ultimately, when people start talking about how useless labels are, I start thinking about white people who often said, “I don’t care if you’re green, purple or blue… you’re just a person.” Yeah, right.

  2. I think Jessica’s point is that other people stick labels on you, too, that aren’t entirely accurate.

    Of course hair removal isn’t medical transition. I don’t think she was saying it is.

    MTF is only directional, in my experience, and can be used to indicate crossdressing as well – as in, an MTF crossdresser vs. an FTM one. That is, I use it for all binary-crossing trans people, whether the change is permanent or not.

    The def of genderqueer is the least understood of them all; I remember a few years ago having someone tell me that no one who is feminine spectrum can be genderqueer, which is ridiculous.

  3. Helen hit the nail right on the head, this is a satire of the dangers of labels. People within our community as well as outside our community have a habit of assigning us labels, effectively putting us in a box for their comfort.

    Much of my comedy is character-driven (aka, over the top for effect). I also have a video where I play “Vicki Vegotta” where I give insane cross-dressing tips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpw6XNTST_A

    As you can see in the video, each label that went on me made me more transparent to the viewer and degraded my identity. I end by placing a label on my mouth (“Jessica”), which drives home the point that labels can silence people from expressing themselves freely.

    Gina, I know that electrolysis doesn’t make me TS, but you know what? A good part of society does, and that ridiculous notion is being lampooned by yours truly.

    Of course, labels can be a good thing as well if they’re a source of pride.

    Thanks again, Helen, for posting this. I appreciate you sharing my work and I am honored that you found it interesting.

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