Is Gender Still Evolving?


After having been extremely active in the online transgender community for a couple of years as the hostess and facilitator of http://www.genderevolve.com/ and genderevolve.blogspot.com , I decided to go offline for awhile to pursue my career. Words cannot express how much I missed you during this time, yet I had to stay very focused to accomplish some of my life goals.

Now that I have achieved a new level of balance in my daily life, I have decided to venture back online and see how you beautiful transladies have been making out this past while. I sense there have been changes in the t-community, there are a lot of new faces, and some very cool new websites too. Yet it seems not everything has changed and there is stability in our online community, as most of my friends are still online and all our favorite sites are still online. It it a welcome relief to find that there is always a place to come home to, no matter how far on different paths our journies take us, we can always return to the source of our sisterhood.

One of the things that encouraged me to come back online was an email from my dear sister Jenna Elizabeth Taylor to the GenderEvolve contributors, entitled "Is Gender Still Evolving?". Her email sparked a flurry of activity and responses in our private Yahoo group forum, which made me delighted to realize there is still so much mutual interest and collaborative spirit among us. As such, I want to take this discussion public and pose the same question to all of our friends in the transgender community at large.

So I would like to ask all of you reading this post...
Is Gender Still Evolving?

By this I mean, take your pick of any or all of the following questions:

1) In the past few years, have you personally changed or evolved in your own transgender journey?

2) Has there been any changes in people around you in your family or friends regarding your gender identity?

3) Have there been any events or news that show gender evolution is still happening in society?

4) Do you recommend any new websites, people or groups that have been influential to the trans community over the past few years?

5) Or simply, how the heck have you been Girlfriend?? What's new?


Anyone reading this post is encouraged to respond and share any thoughts, stories, perspectives on this topic. Please don't be shy, we would love to hear from you.

Love & Light

Michèle Angélique
http://www.genderevolve.com/

Comments

Michele,

Thank you. The very question was intended to spark our thoughts. I'm glad you're out of hibernation.. ;)

I've certainly changed in the past 12 months. My sense of gender is more defined and my personal presentation has also changed. I quit smoking in January, started HRT in February. The calmness and serenity I feel is overwhelming. And the physical changes are nice too!

I've recently had an incredible email exchange with someone I had attended school with, yet haven't seen since(unmentioned period of time...). She has bent over backwards to show support for me and offer her love and understanding as a member of the academic and medical profession. I'm grateful.

I've been noticing the discussion of legal protections for gender expression and gender identity through anti-discrimination laws has increased. From Montgomery County MD to Shelby County TN.

On a personal note, I've been moderating a peer to peer support group in Baltimore twice a month for the last 2 1/2 years. I believe it's time I turn over that responsibility to others so they may receive as much joy as I have.

I believe Gender exists on many planes. I also believe its society that's evolving...
Miranda Skye said…
Michele has asked about us so I'm throwing in a qwickie:

In 2006 I separated from my wife to discover myself more which has really worked out great for both of us. We are actually much more committed to ourselves, our business and raising our daughter together than we ever were in the past.

Since then I have had a couple GG GFs I've met dressed as Miranda and have been regarded totally as a woman and respected as my male counterpart also. I've also opened a studio/transgendere d sanctuary/B& B where girls may come stay and experience themselves in a beautiful spa-like nurturing environment:

http://barelytucked .com

I've started or bought a couple other businesses which are MY dream rather than my wife's so I am very happy at this time in my life. So much so that I rarely dress now and save it for clients etc. I really don't look in the mirror or attach my looks to my gender. I am a mix of both sexes and spend most of my time with people who know both sides with little judgment and fewer expectations.

In other words I have never been more happy or comfortable with myself. And ........ to all my sisters? ... you have a beautiful private place to stay - come visit anytime ;)

-Miranda
Samantha Leigh said…
I've been reading this thread and wodering if I should post. My ideas are possibly thought provoking but not always appreciated. Gender is evolving and maybe we are Neandertrans. Hopfully, most of the hurdles we've had to jump through won't apply to future generations of people like us.

Most of the challenges we valiantly face are a result of changing our lives from one path to another. How do we tell our spouse, how do we cope with a marriage after we tell our spouse, how do we deal with the emotional turmoil of telling friends and family. Each of these steps involves enough fear and anxiety to give someone a heart attack. We have gut wrenching choices on how far to transition, most of which have nothing to do with our hearts desire and everything to do with the practicalities of having lived half our lives already in the wrong modality.

We have all heard about Gwen Araujo, the teenager murdered in Newark California in 2002. How many other teens and twenties do we hear about? I have come across quite a few women now who have just started life as themselves with out pretending to be men like us. It is easier to find a job as Harriet at age 20, than it is to change from Harry to Harriet at age 40.

I have been chatting with an eighteen year old young lady, in California. She is in her senior year of High School and has transitioned. Her life is what you would want for any well adjusted teen. She is on hormone therapy and not sure of whether she will have any plastic surgury. I think the deciding factor for her will be whether she enjoys dating guys more than gals. Either way she will live her life as a she. She started talking to me because we both attend Presbyterian churches and like myself she has had no problems with main stream Christianity.

We have had an impact ladies. Whether from personal interactions or online education, many parents are willing to accept that their son may be a daughter. They see the choice as having a well adjusted child or an angry childhood with difficult problems to face in adult hood. On a recent TV progragm the Focus on The Family anti-transition advocates looked completly foolish.

As for myself, society has given me no grief as an open transgender person. My church has a new Pastor and out of 1500 members only two had something negative to say about me to them. When asked by schoolmates, my kids unabashedly say "My daddy just likes to dress as a girl.". Nobody picks on them or gives them a hard time, they have no shortage of friends. I have been active in the local Tea-Party and no one has made an issue of who or what I am. Living in a small Pennsylvania red neck town, nobody throws rocks at my house, burns crosses on my lawn or does anything discourteous. We are nearing the time when our gender problems will be extinct.

Peace and Love,
Samantha
Isis Win said…
I was quite pleased to be invited to become a GE member. I've been reading a few
of the posts there and for the most part I founded them to be instrumental to
many. I wished to know about it when I was struggling with my own TG issues, but
like many, I worked through them alone. Attending SCC 05' was a pivotal part of
my battle and meeting Michelle and Ari there, was the perfect nail to conclude
my old trends and to start my new approach in life. The reason I see GE as an
important resource to all those who need that support. However, I was upset, sad
and disappointed to see it "vanish" then.

I agree with you it is of importance to revive GE. Although the actual TG issues
had been changing as we go, there is much more work to be done and specially
with all those sisters and brothers that feel alone, can't empathize with many
of the existing venues and seek for most substance in their quest. On that
matter, I totally feel it is of utmost importance to be selective with the
membership aspects. I feel it would be so easy to get lost and derailed.
Frankly, through my experience in the public venues, I've learned that although
helping all transgendered people to come to terms with their right to be who
they are as they are, there are several divisions among them and those need to
be eliminated from a venue that suppose to aim for real growth. If we are
talking about life and the TG issues, advocacy and freedom. I believe only those
who are seriously aimed to experience their feminine self are the only good
candidates. However, there are many more of "the others: that see transgenderism
under a very different light.

I've been invited to participate at PE and so far I've not done it. Although I
can be pointed as an elitist, perhaps discriminatory or simply profiling, I feel
it is extremely important to separate from all those who are not ready to figure
what this TG thing is about. Unless you believe that simply because it is liked
or a nice hobby, anyone who decides to go this path is entitle to become a
member. I suspect a deep level of dedication to unveil and develop the female in
each of us, is what join us. People like GE members are beyond the boundaries of
freedom and logic (IMHO) and can contribute to making this effort - one that can
be easily accepted - at some point, even by those who fear and react negatively
against our realm.

If you decide to revive GE, create a new venue, etc and take this mission as
deeply seriously as I do, I would be happy to add my participation. I feel I
still have an interest, desire and capacity to provide my knowledge, experience
and time.

Good wishes to all of you.

Isis
Well, in step with the viewpoints of the scientific community, species evolution is an ongoing principal dictated partially by external circumstance. If this holds any water, then society as a whole is going to be responsible for genetic variation, and evolution. This doesn't address gender per say, as gender has been a perception iincreasingly based in social awareness.
By increasing that awareness to exponentially larger segments of the poipulation at any given point in history ,then, acceptability of a larger umbrella viewpoint regarding gender inclusion is going to become more & more standardized. Our younger generations already are much moe in step with this natural progression, as the groundwork has been made more available through techology's ability to spread information... Although this process has been ongoing since say...the begining of recorded history...lol it follows then, that yes, gender is still evolving...

May the force be with you!...lol
Amen,

Yet a query?

If gender exists on a non physical plane, and society views gender
largely on a physical plane and rarely on the spiritual plane, is
society responsible for genetic variations, and evolution? Is not
gender, not sex (physicality), evolving?

All in all is all we are...


Jenna
Stacie Ku said…
What is best for the greater good of the trans community?

When we were active, I felt there was a certain cachet in being part of GE. I was part of something special and exclusive (My ego at work here). So when Michele became inactive and the group drifted, I felt kinda lost. GE went into a downward spiral and our sisterhood was for the most part dormant. When GE was active, a though might pop into my head, and I would say to myself, that's good, I need to write that down, expand upon it, then see what kind of feedback you all would give. But after we became dormant, while certain topics would still pop into my head, it was - hummmmm, I wonder... then, why bother? Why post? Why take the time to think this through and write it up when no one is responding anyone. It was like talking to yourself. I no longer had an incentive to post my thoughts, much less take the time to expand upon the initial thought and write it up. Of course, I was also guilty of not responding to many of the posts, so I also contributed to our dormancy.

During the years Michele was away, we were a stand alone group. But no one really stepped up to take over, so how much did we contribute to the trans community during this time? We had enough quality material out there that www.genderevolve.com had a steady stream of visitors, and because there are always 'new' people searching for answers, I suspect we will continue to have visitors to the site even if we remain dormant. But we were dieing a slow death.

Michele says she's back for now. But as she/her life evolves, who knows what may happen? And you know what - nobody lives forever. So, Michele, while I missed you dearly and welcome you back, I think we need to change. You were our mother. You gave us life, and you nurtured us. Then you left and as a group, we drifted. We all went our separate paths. Then Jenna asked her question, and generated such a response that even you came back. But is your return part of our evolution or a return to the way it was before you left?

Will you be like Steve Jobs? He co-founded Apple, left, then came back and completely revitalized Apple after it drifted and flounder for a couple of years. I do hope your return has the same effect on GE as Steve Jobs return to Apple. But now Steve Jobs has major health issues with pancreatic cancer and people (investors) are wondering what's going to happen if he becomes too ill to work, or dies?.

So we also have to figure that out for GE to survive beyond you. If you look at businesses that survive beyond their founder's lives, or grew from sole proprietorship's to major national or multi-national corporations, they all had to evolve, to change. With Michele's return, we have some breathing room before needing to making a decision, but we still have to make one or die a slow death. Will we become as extinct as dinosaurs or evolve from dinosaurs into birds?

You know, I opened my response by saying I wasn't sure which way to go, but after writing all of the above, I think I talked myself in to thinking we should link up with PE in some form. I think that would be for the greater good of the trans community.

Stacie, out of hibernation and throwing in her two cents worth.

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