Tonight Betty and I did a presentation on trans/GLBT issues for an emerging lefty think-tank. It was formed just after the last presidential election, formed out of frustration, anger, and a sense of outrage – not just at who won, but at how the right had stolen words like “morality” (by which they really mean heteronormativity), “family” (again, only heteronormativite families need apply) and “family values” (when they meant, keep those freaks out of my neighborhood).
A lot of the conversation was just trans 101, which Betty and I rushed into and interrupted each other and circled around and back and forth. (The poor guy keeping notes gave up at some point, I think.) We got some of the basic points across, and of course the group got to meet Betty – not your average tranny, but who is?
One of the pertinent questions asked – and this is a smart group – was Where are the Surveys? Where’s the equivalent of the Kinsey Report on trans stuff? and, in a more tactical sense, How many are you, and how do we count you?
There weren’t any good answers for these good questions. Aside from Lynn Conway’s numbers on the prevalance of transsexualism, which doesn’t include crossdressers or drag kings or any of the rest of the gender-variant community, I don’t have any. How many of us are there? More importantly, how many of us are there who will stand up and be counted? What are our issues? Who will lead us? Who are our allies, and to what other (non-trans) causes can we lend our weight?
These are only some of the questions currently being discussed on the message boards, of which I’m very proud.
Come join the dialogue.

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