Body norms versus intersex and transgender people

This presentation was developed to guest lecture for a history class, to explain how intersex conditions and transgender people emphasize to us how images of a ‘normal’ body don’t apply to a significant minority.

gender and norms

Advertisements

Transgender congruence

This paper was done for PSY 280, Experimental Design.  It proposes an experiment to look for geographic variation in the amount of congruence transgender people feel with their identity and appearance.

PSY280 final paper jbooker

Salon piece, November 2014

Preparation and porn
Jennifer
November 18, 2014

Backstory:  In April of last year I came out here as transgender, only two weeks after realizing it myself.  Four weeks from today I go in for gender confirmation surgery, so supportive thoughts and prayers are appreciated.  Meanwhile, these four short stories continue to overshare the very rapid changes in my life, and some unrelated experiences with my girlfriend.

I finally came out at work formally.  After appearing on a panel to discuss transgender discrimination, it was obvious that I was completely out, so the next week I met with my Dean.  He said he had no problem with however I wanted to identify, as long as my work was done well.  He wasn’t shocked, and explained that ‘he had worked around a lot of musicians.’  People at work have been very supportive, and now I’m known there as Jennifer. (pause)

One evening as we snuggled in bed, my girlfriend started stroking my hair and face and body.  Pure simple touch, tracing the features of my face, caressing my neck, petting my firm shoulders, circling my fledgling boobs.  I finally made eye contact with her and saw her eyes gazing softly at me as she continued petting my body.  (speed up) I caught myself running away mentally, I was thinking of anything but what I was experiencing in the moment.  (slow down) I dragged myself to the present moment, and tried to open up to her, and found myself in inexplicable fear of staying present.  I could not face being the only focal point of attention, being subjected to pure receiving of such simple sincere affection.  How messed up is it that I only feel comfortable giving to another, and have trouble accepting the gift of pleasure?  (pause)

I previously mentioned my girlfriend’s penchant for inappropriate pillowtalk, which has freed me to be equally politically incorrect.  This makes for a dangerous combination, as the next two stories describe.

I had to stop taking hormones a month before surgery because they affect blood clotting.  This will make me hormone-free, so my girlfriend logically concluded I should be organic and free range as well.  This led her to the concept of the ‘free range tranny.’  Picture this Monty Python skit:  (hushed British voiceover) Here we are in the plains near the Cherry Hill Mall, and we have finally found a flock of free range trannies.  These appear to be females, as you can tell from their elegant plumage and because they spend most of their time playing with their breasts.  Generally quite peaceful, almost placid, these free range trannies can become severely agitated by questions such as (hick voice) “Can I help you SIR?” or “Are you a boy or a girl?” (pause)

We were fucking happily one night.  She was straddling my hips, focused on grinding her clit against me, searching intently for just the right angle for the most pleasure, when her red hair kept dangling in her face and distracting her.  As she brushed it away for the third or fourth time, it became a comical distraction for both of us, and she mused that she needed a hair net to keep it out of the way.  We had been discussing preferences in porn shortly before this encounter, and this, combined with the distraction, led us to imagine a severely underappreciated genre of porn.  Lunch lady porn.  Mercifully we did NOT compose a full story, but here are some lines to get you started.  So to speak.

  • “I didn’t have any money, but I already knew how *I* was going to pay for MY lunch.”
  • “The sweat running down her face from the deep fryer was nowhere near as hot as she was going to be in a few minutes.”
  • “I couldn’t wait to peel those beige support hose off her firm legs.”
  • “As she licked the shaft of my cock, I tenderly tucked the stray strands of hair back into her hairnet.”
  • “The slab of mystery meat hitting my tin plate sounded just like my hips slamming against her wet pussy.”

Thank you, and I apologize.

Salon piece, October 2015

The Awakening

10/20/15

 

Prologue: Being a scientific sort like some people (look at Susana), I’ve noticed that readings here tend to fall into three categories.  Some pieces are wishful thinking; I don’t tend to do those.  Some are introspective, I do a lot of those.  But this piece is the third category:  just bragging!

Backstory: Hi, I’m Jennifer, and I’m a transsexual lesbian.  *wave* Two and a half years ago I came out to myself as transgender.  Since then I’ve come out to my friends, family and work; and am now legally recognized as Jennifer by a host of state and federal agencies.  Ten months ago I underwent gender confirmation surgery, so in addition to going through second puberty from hormone therapy (lift boob), I’ve been exploring my new body (spelled p-u-s-s-y) sexually and sensually.  These are my stories.

A very fine lady was my girlfriend through transition and recovery, but she finally had to admit she wasn’t 100% comfortable with my being trans, so we parted ways romantically in the last couple of months.  This left me with the problem and opportunity of being a free agent.  In the past I became reclusive after a breakup, and I was determined not to do that again.  Loneliness sucks.

A good friend was going to a play party last weekend, so with their implied endorsement I braved coming too.  It was held in a big apartment in the gayborhood that doubled as a yoga studio.  Well worn carpeting, tons of cushions and pillows everywhere, meditation sayings on the walls, you get the idea.  I expected Ringo Starr to be just around the corner.

The party was led by two people from the Deep South who led the fifteen of us through games for the first couple of hours.  Learning to explore someone using all five senses one at a time.  I had never consciously just smelled someone’s body before.  We fed each other fruit and chocolate and pretzels with the receiver’s eyes closed. We practiced enthusiastic consent.  Asking to touch someone and asking to be touched, without always getting a ‘yes’ response.  Asking for the absurd with guaranteed acceptance.  (Ask a man in the audience if he’s fuck me in the ass with a pink sparkly dildo while singing an aria from Carmen.  Answer for him “Yes, I’d love to do that!”)  Telling a stranger our sexual identity and preferences, STD testing status, and how often we use protection for sex.

All this was preparation for Open Play Time.  Now I had been to play parties for the mostly BDSM scene, but they had clear limits on nudity and sexual activity, so those were a lot of whipping and bondage scenes.  Here everyone was sober but there were no limits beyond getting consent, so I raised an eyebrow the first time I walked past a couple happily lost in a blowjob, or someone eagerly spanking a very exposed and wet pussy.  The moans filling the air made my clit tingle with anticipation.

I knew a couple at the party, and so we soon fell onto an air bed on the floor and started petting each other.  Trixie was in the middle between Janet and I, and we lavished attention on her very full breasts and stroked up and down her legs, teasing her pantied pussy along the way. Meanwhile soft flogging and deep cries filled the air from the St. Andrew’s Cross around the corner.  I remembered how much I love the sound of ecstasy.  My clothes found a pile in the corner as I got comfortable.

Then it was my turn to be the center of attention.  I laid on the air bed, naked as a jaybird, as Trixie and Janet admired my new body for the first time.  Janet was a little shy, and contented herself with sucking my breasts and flicking my nipples now and then.  Trixie kept stroking me closer and closer to my pussy, and finally mustered the courage to ask if she could play with my pussy.  I eagerly agreed.  Copious lube helped slide my pussy to a very warm state, as Trixie cautiously explored inside me for the first time.  I noticed occasional people passing by our little party, and thought what a brazen hussy I must look like.  I quickly went back to the moment.  Valerie came along, and seemed very interested, so we invited her to join the party.  She took over fucking my pussy, getting more aggressive than Trixie had been and started slapping my clit.  I jumped the first few times at the intense sensation, but then started enjoying it more and more.  Janet got braver and started stroking my clit while Valerie focused on finger-fucking my pussy.  I heard myself added to the chorus of moans, drawing more and more attention from others. I savored their happy and approving gazes. There I was with three people licking and fucking my body as I moaned like a whore in heat and writhed on the bed, and I came to accept and fully own the most obvious realization for anyone who knows me:

I am completely and utterly a slut!

 

Open letter to Governor McCrory in North Carolina

March 24, 2016

 

 

Governor McCrory

20301 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-0301

Re:       Impact of House Bill 2

Dear Governor McCrory,

I am appalled by your rushed signing of House Bill 2. 

Allow me to introduce myself briefly.  I have earned three engineering degrees (BS, MS, PhD) from some of the finest universities in the United States, and have over 18 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industries, plus over 12 years in academia.  I am an Associate Professor of computing at a fine private University on the East Coast.

As a direct result of you signing this Bill, you can be assured that:

  • I will not look for employment or housing in North Carolina
  • I will not attend a professional conference in North Carolina
  • I will not go on vacation in North Carolina

At most, I might drive through your state and have to stop for lunch before going someplace else.  Why?

Because I am a transgender woman.

You have refused to educate yourself on the most basic aspects of the Bill before you, and instead insisted on signing one of the most patently offensive pieces of legislation since the Patriot Act.  Transgender people have a lower incidence of committing crimes in a bathroom than US Senators.  Most of the time we’re simply trying to avoid getting beat up for having to pee like anyone else.  Is that asking too much?

 

Sincerely,

Change is the only constant

This piece was read at the Erotic Literary Salon in October 2014 in Philadelphia.

 

Change is the only constant
Jennifer
October 21, 2014

Backstory: In April of last year I came out here as transgender, only two weeks after realizing it myself. This story continues to overshare the very rapid changes in my life as a result of this surprising revelation.

My greatest challenge now is being seen as halfway between male and female. I finally braved asking the gym at school what their policy was on transgender members. They had handled this issue once or twice before, and told me it was fine to use whichever facilities with which I was most comfortable. I soon got a locker in the ladies’ locker room and used it the first time, what I thought was without incident. Shortly after leaving the gym, I was approached by two very large uniformed campus police officers. They said they had received reports of “a man using the women’s bathroom.”
I promptly corrected them that I was just using MY locker. They asked my legal sex (which was in complete violation of school policy), took down a huge amount of personal information, and repeatedly told me that 1) I had done nothing wrong, but
2) I wasn’t supposed to use that facility for the rest of the day. I was mystified by this advice, but wasn’t planning to return to the gym that day anyway. Fortunately I never heard back from the police, and have had no locker room difficulties since then.

I must confess to sometimes using the gender of convenience™ for bathroom facilities. I’ll use the ladies’ restroom if there’s no line, but switch to the men’s room if there is. There have to be SOME benefits to my status!

I’ve been on female hormones for nearly a year now, and it’ll take another year for my boobs to finish coming in. I’m starting to feel them bounce when walking down stairs or driving on a bumpy road, which at this point is delightfully new. I asked to my date to try a boob-level 69, and found that a wonderful new flavor of foreplay.

My male sense of intercourse is almost gone, since erections are very rare with nearly zero testosterone in your system, but now there’s no wondering if or when we’re going to have intercourse, and no danger of someone rolling over and going to sleep after they came. In short, I’m free to enjoy lesbian sex! A traditional 69 is awkward since it’s hard to split attention between giving and receiving; so we take turns pleasing each other with fingers and hands and tongues for hours, stopping only for cuddle breaks, when exhausted, or in dire need of food. Of course, I understand that in order to get certified as a lesbian, I have to attend at least one Indigo Girls concert.

My office has been completely cool with my coming out. Now I wear skirts and dresses to work on an almost daily basis, and get knowing smiles from many of the staff ladies. I don’t think the men know what to make of me … they seem mostly confused.

I’m on women’s teams for soccer and dragon boat racing. It still feels odd to be on a team referred to collectively as ‘ladies,’ but the more I embrace my feminine identity the happier I become. I recently even switched my Facebook identity to Jennifer.

All of this makes being legally still-a-man puts me in an awkward position when my identity is becoming solely female. As a result I’ve made plans to complete my transition in December. I have scheduled gender confirmation surgery with a local plastic surgeon. While I’m scared of surgery on such a delicate and vital area, I’m also completely comfortable with my decision to do so. I’ll have the holiday break to begin to recover from surgery, and in January I’ll start the formal name change process.

This means that by the end of 2015 the transition from Glenn to Jennifer will be physically and legally complete, and I can spend the rest of my days living and loving
as a woman.

New levels of open

This piece was read at the Erotic Literary Salon on September 16, 2014.

New levels of open
Jennifer
September 16, 2014

 Backstory: In April of last year I came out here as transgender, only two weeks after realizing it myself. This story continues to overshare the very rapid changes in my life as a result of this surprising revelation.

My coming out arose from work with Monica Day and Michelle Younger to set aside the masks I was hiding behind. To find the strength to actually be myself instead of the person I imagined I was supposed to be. I’ve been more-than-a-little surprised at the results. I used to consider myself almost painfully normal, if somewhat geeky. At the moment I identify as a transsexual lesbian. I was assured that expressing my genuine self would help lead to healthy relationships, that some people would see the real me and be drawn to it.

I was dubious.

I’m thrilled to report, it’s true.

Last Spring I went to the Mazzoni Center Gala for the first time, since they’ve been guiding my transition. I chatted with a young lady I knew from Women’s Way a few years ago. And our conversation kept going deeper than the casual “oh hi, what are you doing now, how’s life?” kind of thing, so I made sure to get her contact information. We soon went to a couple of shows together, very platonic, but clearly having a good time. Finally the third time we were going to go out, she broke the ice and asked “So is this a date?” I smiled, since we had both dodged the pink elephant in the room up to that point. So after a little dancing around each other, because we were both terrified of rejection, I finally summoned the courage to ask her out. She said yes.

It was a little awkward, since she’s obviously a dedicated feminist and so am I, so we had to be extra careful that we weren’t oppressing each other.

Not long after we started dating, we made an important discovery. We’re both easy. (Yessss!) We’ve been going out frequently ever since.

I got to use my favorite line of all time. We were getting intimate for the first time, slowly peeling away layers of clothing from each other between frantic kisses, and I warned her “I have to ask you a very important question.” She visibly tensed up, stopped breathing for a minute, clearly terrified what I was going to ask, and said “what is it?” I paused, mostly for dramatic effect because I had waited literally years to use this line, and asked “Is there any place you DON’T want me to kiss you?” She melted into a puddle of relief, whispered “No,” and started kissing me even harder.

We both have a penchant for terribly inappropriate pillow talk. After one of our first times making love, during the quiet cuddly afterglow, she finally had to say “Really, this is NOT part of the interview process for Women’s Way volunteers.”

As a lover she has been open with asking questions about what I want, and actively asking for things that please her. Questions that seemed really obvious to ask, but I went through several relationships without ever being that clear and open about what I want or hope or expect.

She doesn’t have a problem with my transition, in fact has been quite supportive. She’s been in relationships with men and women, so my plumbing isn’t an issue. But I couldn’t help wondering how it is from her point of view to be dating a trans woman, so finally after a few dates I had to ask. We were in a romantic Asian restaurant, and she had just mentioned past relationships, so I finally posed the question that had been nagging me for a while. I asked “So at the moment, are you gay or straight?” She smiled, looked down coyly, and replied “I’ll get back to you.”