Autogynephilia – An Introduction

Not long after I began researching the trans subject I came across a term I hadn’t seen before. The word is autogynephilia and it basically describes a man who gets off sexually on imagining himself as a woman. Ray Blanchard, a sexologist, coined the term and wrote about the idea there are two distinctly different groups of trans-identified males. Those two groups are crudely separated into homosexual transsexual and heterosexual fetishistic transvestites, although there are exceptions to every rule.

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An Entry Point

This post isn’t going to delve too deeply because it’s really just an opening to discuss the massive increase in people, and especially children, identifying as ‘trans’. Having had half an eye on the subject for the last four, maybe five years, I’ve involved myself directly over the last eighteen months. I immersed myself in the Twitter wars and read plenty elsewhere – arguments from both sides of the fence and even stuff by those who were sat on it. The transition of Caitlyn Jenner is obviously the most public within recent memory. He had more press coverage than necessary and before he’d even finished his transformation (he still had a penis), he adorned the cover of Vanity Fair and even won an award for woman of the year (complete with his penis). The media appeared to be largely in support of the whole process and as usual, the do-gooders, social justice warriors, and the so-called left-leaning liberals all came out in full force to say what a great thing it was. There seemed to be little criticism, or more accurately – little critical thinking about the issue as a whole. I found it disturbing to see the way everybody was supposed to celebrate his transition and see him as brave or you were labelled as shit.

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Fake It til You Make It

It’s taken me longer than I intended to finish reading The Presentation Of Self, but I finally found the necessary discipline to keep my arse in the chair. I then noticed I’d lost my voice, or maybe I should say – my ability to communicate in the way that I like. I think this is more an issue of identity, though. . . as in, I identify with being an outsider. And yet I need to let that go if I’m trying to include myself with ‘others out there’, even if those others are the socially reluctant. So, anyway, arse on chair and voice in mind – the chapter is headed Belief In The Part One is Playing, and in itself has me raising an eyebrow before I even begin reading the contents. Belief? What does belief have to do with any of this? I’m hoping to see Goffman ask a question or two because I am already concerned the tone isn’t going to be objective enough for me to take him seriously. I’m worried (as one who suffers the consequences of social angst) he may have been too close to the herd to see the absurdity of what he bore witness to. I’m reminding myself the book was written in the 1950’s, but I’m also reminding myself this was after the likes of Otto Rank, Kierkegaard, and many others. What I mean to say is, he seems a little stunted in his way of thinking, or rather, he’s not doing any thinking – just observing and going along with the flow.

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First Impressions

Erving Goffman (1922 – 82) was one of the most influential Canadian-American sociologists of the twentieth century. I was disturbed to learn he had such a wide-ranging influence on a number of key figures from the twentieth century including the lieks of Michel Foucault. Even more disturbing is the matter of his work not being peer reviewed and neither did he ever enter into serious debate with anyone about his ideas. But anyway. . .

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