Emphatically trans and queer friendly

By Xah Lee. Date:

Caught this phrase at a women's programing event:

This event page is only open to women, and those who identify as being a women, on this meetup event page. Emphatically trans- and queer-friendly

pyladies meetup screenshot 2012-07-21
pyladies meetup screenshot

humm… “trans- and queer-friendly”.

so, this group welcomes women, but also welcomes transsexuals, and also “queer”. Transsexuals we understand. It's basically men who live as women in society. On the light side, it could be a cross-dresser, i.e. a biological male but who dress and act as woman in public. It could be on occasion, where most of his acquaintances knew him as male, or it could be habitual, where his male identity is known only to a few. On the heavy side, transsexuals also means those who went thru legal process to be identified as female. This person, may or may not have had his penis cut (i.e. sexual surgery). (legality and the process varies by country …)

Now, it also mentions queer. But exactly what is meant by “queer”? Let's see Wikipedia, quote:

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities[1] that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) communities as being oppressive or assimilationist.

This term is controversial because it was reappropriated only two decades ago from its use as an anti-gay epithet. Furthermore, some LGBT people disapprove of using queer as a catch-all because they consider it offensive, derisive or self-deprecating given its continuous use as a form of hate speech. Other LGBT people may avoid queer because they associate it with political radicalism, or simply because they perceive it as the faddish slang of a “younger generation.”

So, it's not quite definite. But from this, we know that the group pretty much welcome anyone who are not male.

also of interest is the way they phrased it. Note they didn't fully spell-out transsexual. Because that might sound medical. “trans” is more endearing than “transsexual”. (on the other hand, “tranny” would be wrong.) So, overall, this group really welcome all these class of people.

Now, if we are doing analysis in the name of social science, then many questions can be asked. e.g. why they welcome trans, what's the percentage of such group, what's the effect of welcoming trans in a normally women's event, what's the organization's political inclination, how most women relate to this attitude, etc.

i think, for most women, especially girly girls, they wouldn't be concerned about this. They are not interested in programing, most are not interested in sexual politics (e.g. feminism). They wouldn't be reading or attending this. (they, are reading Pinterest and Cosmo. LOL) So, the people likely to read this announcement, are the targeted audience -- female programers. In USA, female programers is a minority, a politically hot minority. It's heavily tied to power struggle, much like all other minoritism in US, e.g. gays, blacks, native american, women (which we can see thru linguistics, a phrase from it is “race card”.). (in sharp contrast to Asia, where, for example, there are relatively more female indian programers (my guess only), or in china, it's traditional for female to take many professional roles (e.g. you can see in kungfu movies), yet both india, china, and including korea, japan, females are culturally subordinate to males.)

wait, i digressed. Back to focus… so, female programers as minority, in USA of the past decade, are often politically tied with other minorities, e.g. gay (and in recent years, trans), often as victims. So, often, they work together naturally to increase power. e.g. homosexual men usually have no interest in homosexual women whatsoever, sexually or politically, and vice versa for homosexual women, yet they are almost always banded together in demonstrations. Similar to smaller groups of dissimilar political partisans banding together to further their cause. So, i am thinking, to most female programers, it's not unusual to encounter support for other minoritism causes and groups, such as gay. So yeah, i guess in general, even if a woman programer isn't comfortable with people who are casual trans (e.g. cross-dresser who do it sometimes only, or feminine gay boy dressed as woman but have no interest to be identified as female), they probably are already used to welcoming such in social events. … but wait, … suppose all of a sudden the cross-dressers increase in numbers 10-fold men strong … the welcoming of their kind probably would be in danger.