This is a frakkin' rant.
- Here, have a list of my disabilities:
- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome — and be aware that managing this disorder requires me to do a constant balancing act between how much pain I can tolerate vs. how much medication-induced sedation I can tolerate
- All sorts of joint problems, including frozen shoulder (technically, adhesive capsulitis) in both shoulders, which requires me to do very painful exercises to keep my shoulders from freezing completely; chronic back pain due to kyphoscoliosis, which in the last year has become relentless and appears to be radiating into my left foot; carpal-tunnel syndrome; numerous other joint problems, including joints (knees, fingers especially) that just go out at the drop of a hat
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Life-long, severe depression intractable to medications and therapy
- Anxiety disorder
- Dissociation, including derealization, depersonalization, and at least borderline / atypical DID (dissociative identity disorder)
- Just sheer exhaustion from having to deal with transphobia, transphobic-misogyny, and binarism, as someone who is transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and female (yes, it is possible to be all of those at once)
- Loudly referring to the two women immediately in front of us on the sidewalk as "men" because they're wearing loose-fitting (and damned comfortable-looking, maybe I'll get some for myself) shorts is all kinds of fucked up. It's misogynistic, it's transphobic (even if the women in question are cis — which neither of us knew one way or the other), it's gender-essentialist, it's frakkin' wrong. The fact that you yourself are trans makes it worse. You ought to know better than to join cissupremacist society in policing gender and its expression. Stop it.
- We are both trans women. (The fact that I am also genderqueer doesn't invalidate me as being a trans woman.) We have both suffered from cissupremacist society's often violent policing of our genders and how we express it. Therefore: Do not publicly — on the subway or anywhere else — tell me that I should paint my toenails. Do not take me to a sidewalk stall and hold up a frilly dress against me and tell me how good it'd look on me. Do not police my gender or its expression, and do not frakkin' ever, EVER, out me to anybody, stranger or no, without my permission!.
For your edification, just like cis women, trans women can be femme, butch, androgynous, etc. I happen to be androgynous; I present more femme on some days and more butch on others. But one thing's for sure: I hate using makeup or painting my nails; I don't like dresses or most other feminine clothing; and I have a right to modify my manner of dress to keep myself safe on the streets, and don't you DARE imply otherwise.
- Your suggestion that I counter a cis gay man telling me that his conversation with a trans woman is "bizarre" by telling him that my conversations with gay men are "bizarre" is busted and wrong. Countering transphobia with homophobia is an oppressive act. If someone is being transphobic to me, I need to address their transphobia, not further an oppression that they experience (and don't tell me that cis gay men aren't oppressed).
- Stop calling gay men "she", unless you know they are ok with it. See the above point: Misgendering a gay man because he misgenders you, ain't cool.
- Finally, although it hasn't really come up yet, I am warning you: If you question or invalidate my gender because I haven't had and probably won't have surgery, or because of any other aspect of my transition-related history, or because you don't "believe in" genderqueer identities, our friendship will be over.
Ok, now the question is how do I actually address these points with my sort-of friend? I'm pretty meek in person (though I did call her out on calling those two women "men"), and really, really afraid of anger, including my own.
UPDATE 6-Dec 2011:
Ok, I give up.
I've already told you that I'm Jewish*, and so is my whole family. Yet, you think it's ok to go on a two-minute rant about how Jews think we're a special club and how we think we're better than everybody else. When I remind you that I'm Jewish, you then have the temerity to tell me "Oh, that's ok, some of my best friends are Jewish**" and then complain that "I didn't know you were so sensitive about that".
You know what that means?
Friendship over, sweetheart.
* I believe it's possible to be Jewish (by upbringing, culture, and heritage) and Christian at the same time. I did not abandon my Judaism by becoming Christian.
** She literally used those words; I did not paraphrase her.