I just received an email from the National Geographic Channel about their upcoming series “Taboo”, sent because of our posts on trans issues. It pointed my attention to a particular video clip, described as follows:
One of the topics covered is transgenderism, and NGC has just posted this clip sharing the life of a pre-op transsexual, who has everyone confused about what it means to be a man, but herself.
And here’s the video clip:
Many things struck me about the email, after viewing the video-clip. (1) The man in the clip has had surgery to remove his breasts and his uterus, so he’s not pre-operative. But clearly the email’s author is focussed on the lack of a penis. He doesn’t express any interest in getting a penis, so he doesn’t seem to be pre-that-op either. (2) I don’t see anything at all confusing about this man’s description of his life– I’d expected him to do something like reject both gender identities, but he’s very strongly identified as a man. (3) The email’s author persists in using a feminine pronoun, which does indeed generate a confusing sentence. It really seems to me like most of the confusion is generated by the way the clip is described.