Nuala Shields

Nuala Shields
60, politically progressive - pro choice - feminist, spiritually eclectic, musically eclectic
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    • Nuala Shields

      No Lili Elbe? Lili was the first SRS (that I am aware of), and she had ovaries and uterus implanted and she was back in the late 1920’s - 1930, Quite a few years prior to Christine Jorgensen’s transition.  It was an article I read in my early days in the Boston Sunday paper magazine on Christine Jorgensen 10 years after her return to the U.S. that enlightened me to the fact there was at least one other person in the world like me, that it was a known condition, and that one’s body could be brought into congruence with one’s innate gender identity, but it was prohibitively expensive and required distant travel to do so. Lynn Conway has a website dedicated to Transsexual Women’s Successes. The site has many who have contributed in various fields that didn’t have the media exposure like those in entertainment or political action do. http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses

    • Nuala Shields

      I identify as Pansexual. I see Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Physical Sex as all existing along entirely separate spectrums or continuums that are independent of each other.  The three may all align (heteronormative, cisgender) or they may be at different points (even multiple points) respectively. To me being pansexual has nothing to do with whether a person is cis or trans. I consider myself pansexual because my attraction spans the spectrums and I am attracted to the essence or spirit of other consenting adults, not to their physical features, or degrees of masculinity or femininity. That is not to say that I do not appreciate physical aesthetics, but rather that I can be attracted to other consenting adults due to their persona, essence, being, and their physical attributes don’t need to come into play in the attraction. What ever we have, is what we find ways to work with physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve always been Pansexual. I can definitely understand how someone can be attracted to another whether they have the same genitalia or not. I can sort of understand how some people can only be attracted to “same” or to “opposite” (although for me that seems so limiting). I am also what I would call “Polyamory Friendly”. I find that I could be happy in a Poly relationship or a Mono-amorous relationship. Much like being Bi/Pan, it doesn’t mean I would be wanting more relationships if I entered into a Mono-amorous one. I do have a separate question for the folks who say they are only attracted to cis people and not to trans people. If you can’t tell, don’t know, and they don’t disclose it immediately and you found that person immensely attractive to you in every way, you are saying that you would then break up with them if you ever learned they were trans, simply because they are trans? I’m just curious how that works if you truly do not know?

    • Nuala Shields

      The confusion comes with the old ideas of gender…  Yes, gender-roles, gender-expectations, and the trappings of clothing foisted on people according to that society’s concepts of appropriate gender behavior are social constructs and enforced by the patriarchy as is the concept of genitals, sexual orientation, and gender identity being congruent in all people (which they are not). Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Genitalia all exist along spectrums or continuums… they are not dichotomies. They may or may not be congruent. We may identify at different points along each and we may even identify at more than one point along each. Gender Identity however, is NOT a social construct, like gender roles are. Gender Identity is as innately hardwired in our physical brains (which in folks born transsexual are like those of the gender identity they KNOW they are) as is sexual orientation. Many trans folks KNOW by 2-4 what their innate, intrinsic gender identity is and express it in the affirmative… it is not an “I wish I was…”, nor an “I want to become…” but it is an “I AM A…” (girl or boy). Many modern feminists do accept and welcome trans folks. There was a very difficult time when many marginalized minorities felt isolated from feminism due to the failure of some to understand “intersectionality”, and the reluctance of just about everyone all around to acknowledge their own personal bias and privilege and own it. Hopefully we can see support and encouragement on a global scale now that the world needs active feminism more than ever. All of the cis and trans women I know personally are onboard with working together as sisters. It saddens me greatly (and puzzles my friends) when there are rifts in communities who should be supportive of one another.

    • Nuala Shields

      I would be interested in what the college’s policy is when a trans man who is a student there, comes out and wants to transition, but wishes to graduate from Smith? As to the usual chromosome cliche’s, yes it IS possible to change from “XX” to “XY” or vice-versa, although rare. Other chromosomal combinations are just that and not “mutants”.  How many who continue to spout the chromosome absolutism they learned in 7th grade health class back in 1966, even know for sure what their own chromosomes are? Few people are ever karyotyped.  Trans men are not forced into bottom surgery to be recognized as male/men, some trans women cannot complete GCS/SRS due to health reasons, and in the USA many cannot due to the extreme costs although hopefully that will change. We know now that the “XX” and “XY” have far less to do with determining a person’s physical sex than was previously thought. A lot more has to do with other events happening in utero during gestation.  Transsexual brains are like the physical brains of others who share that gender identity, rather than resembling the brains of those with the same genitalia. Many trans kids identify as their known gender identity as early as 2-4 years old. It is not imagining or wishful thinking, it is a solid KNOWING. Just as our brains are hardwired for sexual orientation they are hard wired for gender identity. Yes, gender roles and expectations and the way we choose to present are learned social constructs, but our gender identity is innate, intrinsic, and based in our physical brain. Calliope’s problem was with her mixed documentation which is a problem faced by trans women and men all over and particularly in the USA where we are like 50 separate little countries each with it’s own laws… one changes birth certificate with physician’s letter, another with proof of GCS/SRS, and still another refuses to change any birth certificate for any reason. She is a woman and she should be able to attend a women’s school with other women.