Olivia was a friend, we never had sex, and asked me to take him out because I was one gay man who came across as completely straight and was physically intimidating enough to halt an altercation short of fisticuffs should things have gone pear-shaped, as they didn’t.

But we were close enough that I felt moved by the disappointment.

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

Oh Steve- it's uncanny how often you speak my mind. Indeed, nobody with any integrity should fear facts and logic and truth, because all they destroy are lies. And often we have to empathetically and diplomatically sneak fact, logic et al into a discourse in order not to scare the audience away- because lies are easier and because promoting lies often makes you look like a "nice" person. Whereas sticking to facts and logic and not relativizing them is frequently interpreted as being obstinate, partisan or , worst case, cruel. Admittedly, it is sometimes hard to courteously and compassionately stick to facts and logic while communicating with people who just make shit up as they go along( but weirdly still expect others not to lie to them, people to stop at traffic lights, their doctor to not harm them and all the other wonderful conventions humanity has in place). Go figure.

Expand full comment

"And often we have to empathetically and diplomatically sneak fact, logic et al into a discourse in order not to scare the audience away"

Haha, you've described my entire adult life in a single sentence.😅😭

Expand full comment

Love the analogy on str8 v gay and woman b man.

I don’t love beating on the far left or far right.

A trans-woman is dealing with incongruity in their (avoiding her or his) life. Similar to how I as a gay man am dealing with incongruity in my sexuality versus the goal of my sexuality from a societal and maybe more significantly evolutionary perspective.

Understanding what it meant for me to actively be gay took 40 years. Why? Because I look at life as something more than my innate sexuality versus my biologically driven goal for my sexuality. How does actively being gay create meaning in my life!

Trans-people who care about meaning in life versus some simple self serving goal will struggle with the same issue.

Maybe the better discussion is not about whether the word woman is understood by a trans-woman. Maybe it’s about how trans-woman are just trying to sort themselves out.

The large majority that is neither trans or gay or any other letter on the LGBTQ+ spectrum doesn’t have to think about that. The bottom line is that the normal majority are pushing hard to claim the word woman without considering the challenges of a trans person.

The dialogue you site and the bottom line you’re driving toward certainly seem to imply that!

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 30, 2023Author

"The bottom line is that the normal majority are pushing hard to claim the word woman without considering the challenges of a trans person."

Nope, you have this almost perfectly backwards. Trans women are pushing hard to claim the word woman without considering the challenges or simply the realities of being a woman.

Women came first.

I have no doubt that trans women have to struggle to "sort themselves out." And I fully acknowledge that I don't know what that's like. But that in no way gives them the right to appropriate somebody else's identity. If a white person decides they don't feel white, well, that's nothing to do with me. But if they demand to be described, legally and socially, as black, I think black people will take issue with that.

A trans woman who is trying to "sort themselves out" starts that process being described as a boy or a man. Because that's what we've called male human beings since the dawn of language. During that process, they may decide they prefer to be referred to as a trans woman. Okay, great, trans women are trans women. This is factually and uncontroversially true. But the word woman is already taken. And it's taken by a group of people who face their own unique challenges.

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 30, 2023

The word woman as an identity is certainly being fought over. I have a hard time thinking that the minority can really claim a word if the majority pushed back. I'm not disagreeing with the way you feel about it, I'm just looking at it in all practicality. The majority is already unraveling any adoption by the "politically correct" crowd on the word woman. The bud light backlash is certainly proof of that.

Its no different than the word marriage. Many gays wanted the term marriage as an identity. Aside from the identity, civil unions wouldn't work legally. There are too many laws and case law that is attached to the word marriage that doesn't exist for civil unions.

The same legal issues are in all practicality true for the word woman with a trans-woman and for that matter a trans-man. Where are trans people supposed to go to the bathroom without putting themselves in legal jeopardy by being the wrong sex in the bathroom?

The absolute on the use of the word woman (and man) totally ignores the legal issues that trans-people have.

My conclusion is that the vocal left has created more of a problem for the trans community by wanting to claim the words woman and man. They will not succeed and have created a backlash. There was nothing to be gained by getting into a war with JK Rowling about the word woman. Would have been much more productive had they engaged JK Rowling and come up with a win-win solution.

Expand full comment

"Its no different than the word marriage."

It's very different. Marriage is an institution, or a social construct, as the kids like to say. Women are people.

Gay marriage doesn't infringe on anybody else's marriage. If we all decided tomorrow that animals can get married, everybody else would remain exactly as married as they were before. As long as you don't downgrade the legal status and rights of married people, it makes no practical difference. So objections to the change were based purely on what people thought the man in the sky might think.

But women's rights are based on practical, physical realities related to being female. If you change the definition of "woman" to include men, you necessarily infringe on the rights and safety of women.

And yes, I've said many times that trans women are women was an insane and self-sabotaging hill to die on. A legal compromise that allowed trans women to use certain women's spaces had already been found. It was the trans lobby that spent the last years demolishing all those safeguards, ignoring the negative consequences they created.

So now, sadly but unsurprisingly, people are less willing to compromise.

Expand full comment

I’m not aware of any compromise on the legal issues of using a bathroom that doesn’t align with biological sex.

There are no explicit laws making it illegal but there are many implicit laws. It could be considered sexual harassment (eg exposing oneself), could be considered disturbing the peace. Bottom line, trans people are at the mercy of others on the restroom.

Is gay marriage similar. Absolutely. There are many legal issues that are clarified by being married? Does gay marriage infringe on others rights? That’s proven thru the legal issues that have already been litigated. Is a religious person required to acknowledge gay marriage?

It comes down to whether the majority will make concessions for a minority. The issues are complex because the majority has to relinquish some of their “normality” to support the minority.

In the case of “woman” from a legal perspective, not an identity perspective, Rowling as an example is concerned about trans-woman in woman’s rest rooms. Riley is concerned about trans-woman in woman’s sports. Str8 men are concerned about flirting with someone who is a trans-woman (a.l.a. The song Lola).

The challenge is making it about “identity” versus just clarity on whether the majority is willing to adapt. Especially on the basic practical issues of life!

Expand full comment

"I’m not aware of any compromise on the legal issues of using a bathroom that doesn’t align with biological sex."

Haven't you asked yourself why, after transsexual people have been a thing for decades, trans inclusion is suddenly this huge issue? It's not because straight men are worried about flirting with trans women. It's because of self ID.

JK Rowling never said a single word about trans inclusion before the Scottish government tried to make self ID the law of the land. Trans people in sport was a non-issue except in a very few isolated cases, most of which involved intersex people, not trans people. The "trans women are women" mantra coincided with calls for self ID.

The compromise was that there was a meaningful process for legal recognition of your transition that made it much harder men with bad intentions to masquerade as trans women. You had to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, you spent time with a therapist, you spent time "living as the opposite gender" and then your transition was legally recognised.

While this was the process, almost nobody had an issue with trans inclusion, and those who did were easily classified as bigots.

Fast forward to 2020 or so, and trans activists have dismantled all of those safeguards with cry bullying and disingenuous references to "conversion therapy". To such an extent that we see male rapists claim to be trans IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR TRIAL FOR RAPE and get transferred to female prisons once they're convicted. We see businesses terrified to prevent men from getting naked in communal female changing rooms alongside women and girls if they utter the magic words, "I identify as a woman."

Children as young as twelve are having their breasts cut off because apparently it's transphobic to ask a child who suddenly wants to denounce their sex as they start going through puberty (often with some other sexual trauma or mental illness thrown into the mix) whether they're sure they want to commit to a lifetime of medicalisation and infertility.

So it's not so much about whether the majority will make concessions for the minority, it's whether the concessions the minority are asking for are reasonable or even sane. It's whether those concessions will negatively impact far more people than are *in* the minority. And it's about whether another group (women), who may be large but are still vulnerable to male violence, deserve to have their rights taken seriously too.

Expand full comment

Long after WWII you could see concentration camp tattoos on elderly Jews in areas like New York City. A jeweler would reach into a case, his sleeve would pull up, tattooed numbers.

Years from now there will be victims of the "trans" cult, mutilated men and women, the majority of them in regret for the remainder of their shortened lives.

It just won't be tattoos.

Expand full comment

I think common sense and reality are beginning to make a comeback. I suspect the left has really jumped the shark for many re their uncritical support of Hamas, and that the rest of the world is coming to see just how morally bankrupt these people are. The trans issue is their weakest link in the weak social justice chain; it's the most reality-denying. 'White supremacy baked into everything' is an opinion and hard to prove or disprove; the central tenet of the trans issue is their dispute with a clearly provable fact: You can't change gender, ever. We are not clownfish, and ultimately your gamete - which defines *how* you contribute to reproduction regardless of whether you reproduce or not - ultimately decides *what* you are.

Expand full comment

If a man named Donald identified as Donna and could pass well as a woman, he could "be" Donna. Donna would exist. Until the day, or night, came when a straight man who honestly thought Donna was a woman was going to have sex with her. When Donna's plumbing was revealed there would be a moment of truth.

Perhaps if he was a, "I'll try anything once" kind of guy who decided to walk on the wild side, it would be gay sex and he would know it. He would know that Donna was not a woman. Or, more likely there would be some variation of, "Dude! WTF? A dick!" and the sex would not happen.

In both cases, Donna would indeed be destroyed. Even if Donna were to carry on and find a gay man in denial who wanted to cushion it with a man who passed as a woman, except in bed, the woman Donna would be destroyed when it came to sex or a situation where plumbing is in view. The human, Donald, has not been destroyed, but Donna has been. "Donna" knows and the nan having sex with "her" knows the truth.

This was just a stream of thought on the idea of reality being an actual destructive force. I didn't give it thought before I wrote it. Others might not agree. I might not agree when I read it tomorrow. But when they say they are destroyed by, "no, you're not" is there an element of truth in it?

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 30, 2023Author

"But when they say they are destroyed by, "no, you're not" is there an element of truth in it?"

Only the fiction is destroyed. Donald, Donna, that doesn't matter. If a man wants to be called Donald or Mark or Donna, what's the difference? Names are a perfect example of self ID in action. There is no biological or objective reality to a name. We just take people's word for it.

But there is a biological and objective reality to being a man or a woman. If a man wants to be called a woman, there's a big difference. And in almost all cases, we take the evidence of our eyes and ears over the claims of another person. If I tell any sane person I'm a woman, they won't believe me. Especially if they can perform a very basic check of my anatomy. And even if they do, there are objective measures of the fact that I'm lying.

So if I say, "I'm a woman," and somebody says "no, you're not," all they're doing is "destroying" my lie.

Interestingly enough, if I said, "I'm a trans woman," and somebody says, "no you're not," here, they're the ones on shaky ground. Because being a trans woman, especially today, also has no biological or objective reality. You can self ID into being a trans woman. Not into being a woman. This is just one of many reasons why I don't understand why we can't all agree that trans women are trans women.

Expand full comment

That goes to the heart of you can't truly understand what you are not.

Homosexuals appear across a spectrum of hyper masculine to hyper feminine in appearance and mannerisms without denial of their gender. While not "truly" understanding, on an intellectual level we can understand that they have a same sex attraction. No harder to understand than we may have opposite sex attraction or preference for other characteristics. I'm not sure how wide the chasm between truly and intellectually understanding is in this case.

My initial thoughts about transgenderism were that they are homosexuals in denial. They want to be "out", but not as homosexuals for various reasons of their own that I will not try to enumerate. That is also an intellectual understanding that could be wrong.

The trans[gender of choice] who want people to accept them without the prefix and really "believe" that they are what they "feel" are unfathomable to me even on an intellectual level. I can't truly understand what I am not. Do they really believe that? Do they really believe, rather than just desire, that people believe that? That does not negate my attachment to truth, but it does point to the idea that "no, you are not" could destroy more than a lie in the mind of people like that. But politeness does not make acceptance of falsehood as truth to be a world I want to live in, and I am not suggesting such a world.

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 30, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

For Donna to go all the way to undressing without disclosing that he is actually a man would be unforgivably dishonest. While the straight man would not be justified to react violently, there are many who would.

It so happens I had a secondhand experience of exactly this in 1975. I knew a transvestite who was a flawless and beautiful female impersonator, superbly attractive as a woman, whom I brought to a straight club. It’s difficult not to refer to him as her, as I a never do now, but the impression of femininity was intense.

His drag name was Olivia and was not, so far as I knew, transsexual.

A man at the club wanted to bring—her—home. I watched from nearby and could see the exact moment when the truth was revealed. His astonishment, his rejection. Not disgust, not anger. Olivia wanted to go home with him and he wasn’t of the “what the hell” persuasion.

We left shortly and Olivia was deeply depressed by the experience, and drank heavily. But he had been honest. He could have, and would have, given the man a blowjob without undressing and he’d have been none the wiser. But he chose the truth.

Expand full comment
Oct 30, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

Chris. I was touched by your story about Olivia. I hope he will always value you as the true friend you showed yourself to be that night.

Expand full comment

I moved across the country a few months later, and never heard of any of my friends in Virginia ever again. I don't know if Olivia survived AIDS or COVID, and, I realize now, I never knew his real name. So I have no way to find out.

And 35 years later I left the whole country.

Expand full comment

I'm so sorry to hear that, Chris. Please accept my reassurance that Olivia knew you cared for him and valued him as a friend.

Expand full comment

“Maybe the better discussion is not about whether the word woman is understood by a trans-woman. Maybe it’s about how trans-woman are just trying to sort themselves out.”

Being too charitable is one thing. This is something worse.

They’re not trying to sort themselves out. Real transsexuals are trying to sort themselves out. The “trans” are just brats.

Expand full comment