From my reading response for my Gender and Sexual Orientation class today. Losing Sue is about MtF transsexuals.
“One thing in Losing Sue that was interesting to me was the introduction of Della/Del, and him saying “I prefer being called “he,” but I don’t really identify as a man. I identify more as a hermaphrodyke.” Why does being something in between man and woman end up looking masculine? Is it because masculine is the powered gender and therefore feminine is the queer gender, and to be something in between you have to be less feminine? Does that even make sense? It makes me think of Wilchins in Queer Theory, Gender Theory who talks about, well, a lot of things, but when she talks about her own sexual reassignment and how it’s valid to say “I feel like a woman trapped in a man’s body” but it’s not valid to say “I feel like a herm trapped in a man’s body.”
I know there is a debate regarding the gender binary perpetuation of transsexuals, and I think it comes out, partially, of what I’m talking about above. Regardless of what we try to accomplish, also, society ends up putting everyone in one of two categories: man and woman. If you don’t fit, we try to find out the “real” gender of the person, what they “really” must be, because people don’t get the facsimile of all gender, like we were talking about two class periods ago. I often feel like any gender outside the two binaries is a waste of time, and my gender specifically is because what am I challenging? Anything? I’m not sure if I could say that I feel “female” but, really, I don’t know what that means. I feel trans because even though I am genetically female I don’t think there is much that goes along with that, aside from my physical self, but that only goes so far. However, because I’m female and enjoy femininity it’s seen as more normal than most other things. Could I identify as a hermaphroditic drag queen? Sure. Would it do much to change the way society perceives me? Very little, unless I wore a button/shirt saying “I’m a hermaphroditic drag queen, ask me how!” But most likely people would just get confused.”
More about this later, perhaps.