Here is an uplifting testimony I recently found that you should enjoy reading about and watching. Ricardo’s experience is quite different from most of ours, but we can still learn from it. I think it’s a really powerful and helpful testimony, even though a couple things made me uncomfortable, such as the church members insisting Ricardo work so hard to change his bodily movements and mannerisms. While that might be helpful to some degree, and certainly not a bad thing to work on in the long run, it’s totally secondary to the issue of him identifying himself as a man.
Watching this old video hits home to me how much terms and labels for people like us have changed in recent years. My hunch is that people watching this today would think that the labels are no longer accurate or helpful (conflating transvestites and homosexuals for example), and some might even think the ways Ricardo describes himself are not accurate. I agree that the people in the video seem a bit ignorant compared to our understandings today of these types of people. But we have to remember that even today people can’t agree on what terms mean like “crossdressing, transgender, transsexual, intersex, homosexual, etc.” There are many many more terms and people all seem to use the terms differently. This is one reason I don’t spend too much time on my site trying to nail down different terms. The resources and articles I share use the terms differently anyway. It’s more helpful I think to explore the issues of crossdressing and gender, and readers can see what applies to them personally and what does not.
But another reason I don’t get too worked up about the labels is that I think there is a lot of overlap. I think that the liberals in our culture, and a lot of homosexual and transgender activists try really hard to nail down labels and categories of people, but I think the fact is is that there is a lot of overlap among these groups of people. Maybe we don’t need to try to nail down whether Ricardo was a transsexual or just a crossdressing prostitute, or a homosexual person. Maybe he was all at once. I’ve read too many testimonies now to believe that there is no overlap between these groups. The liberal community loves to talk about a spectrum of gender. As I said in my previous post, I completely reject this. There are men and there are women, and some few with biological ambiguity because of genetic abnormality.
I do however see somewhat of a spectrum in the crossdressing/transgender/homosexual community. Well I guess it’s not really a spectrum but really a smorgasbord. There are homosexuals who act masculinely and homosexuals who act femininely. There are homosexuals who crossdress. There are heterosexuals who crossdress. Some crossdress for comfort. Some crossdress trying to live out their inner woman. Some crossdress because they think they really are women. Some who think they are women get surgeries to change their biology, some do not. Some crossdress for sexual pleasure. Some of these eventually get a sex change surgery. Some say they are transsexual and homosexual, like mtf transsexuals who remain attracted to women. Some try to live androngynously blending both genders. Some try to reject gender altogether. We can try to keep defining and labeling all of these people, but the people themselves often change or adopt new labels and new terms. Again, I think it is much more helpful to spend our time looking at people’s thought processes, motivations, and the actual phenomena in their lives (such as same sex attraction, crossdressing, or living as the opposite sex) and discussing those things. It’s too easy to speak past each other trying to use terms that can be taken in so many ways.