Archives for posts with tag: Dean Spade

After reading Dean Spade’s article, I realized how many issues need to be worked out between society and the trans-gender community. I’ve never thought so deeply about all the unnecessary troubles trans people face in the world. Spade mentions that he is disappointed there is only one “type” of trans-gender. This point stood out to me because when dealing with such a dynamic situation, an individual, each person has been formed into their sexuality through personal experiences and no two transsexuals should feel that they are exactly the same transsexual, because each person is different. One of Spade’s main political goals was to develop more categories of trans gender and thought no one should be reduced to only being thought of as a trans person.

Majority of Spade’s piece was about the de-medicalization of trans gender. His ideas about the outcome of de-medicalization, should it ever occur, include:
an end to gender designation on government documents, end of gender segregation of bathrooms and locker rooms, end of involuntary “corrective” surgeries for babies who are intersex, self identification would be the determining factor for a person’s membership in a gender category to the extent that knowledge of the person’s membership in such a category is necessary, and psychiatric and medical evidence would no longer be furnished by trans to establish legitimacy.

Many problems stand in the way of the de-medicalization though…

Insurance claims are a main worry and are foreseen to be a problem with de-medicalization. There are also limited disability rights claims and problems finding doctors to do trans operations. Also, many trans people are of low income, minority areas and are not familiar with the gender model. This prevents them from understanding themselves within the gender model and understanding what they wish for in a trans identity.


Alexandra Fath

It’s a sad world where people can’t express the way they truly feel and act the way they want to act without public ridicule.  Laws are made to try to protect people from this ridicule and harassment, but that isn’t enough to effect the change needed in our culture for people to be accepted for the way they are.

Dean Spade, a transgender attorney, writes about this topic where trans people are denied the chance to feel comfortable in the world around them and be the person they want to be.  He writes in hopes that someday trans people can get the respect they deserve and allowed to become the person they feel inside without medical boundaries and “professional” opinions on who they are or not.  At the end, however, he writes stipulations on effects he wants to see on society.  He writes about ending gender designation on government documents, bathroom and locker facilities, involuntary “corrective” surgeries for babies with intersex conditions, limiting factors on self identification on gender categories, and psychiatric and medical evidence to establish trans legitimacy.

I believe it’s important to note that these wishes don’t involve more work on the trans person but on society’s role to accept people for how they want to be.  While it’s hard for me to agree with people who really want to change their bodies, I can respect their desire to live in a society that accepts them.  I think it’s society’s fault for people’s desire to change to try to “fit in” – instead society should work to be more inclusive.  This can apply across to everyone who may feel different.  Take what you got and be the best person you can be and someday soon I hope society can learn to adapt for the progress of mankind.

–Brian Falatko

In class we talked about the new National ID that might pop up sometime in the future. I hadn’t really heard anything about it so I decided to investigate it. It stems from the Real ID Act that was adopted back in 2005 that would allow the DMV to link up to all the other DMV’s around the nation. This would allow police officers to have quicker access to anyone’s driver license records no matter what state they come from. This would also make it a lot easier for police to detect card theft. However, not all States have complied with this ID Act. Right now in Indiana we have what is called the Secure ID. To get it you must present your birth certificate, SSN, prove you are legally in the US, and reside in Indiana. Essentially, its a “more secure” driver license, whatever that means. I could find little information on the actual DMV website for the state of Indiana explaining why the new ID was needed, what was actually on it, and what benefits it provided. All they included was what was needed to obtain the new ID and how to get it. I thought it was interesting that not even an image of the new ID was on the website, which leads me to assume it is the same as the driver licenses that are issued. However, this is probably not the case. Other websites have said the Real ID stores and scans personal information such as your Social Security number and birth certificate information. Sounds a little dangerous right? Carrying all this information around in your back pocket.

Now there is another card in the works, a National ID card. It’s sort of a Social Security card on steroids. While right now its not supposed to have nay personal information on it, this could easily change. What is to stop it from containing private information, medical information, or tracking devices. Also, because its supposed to be universal what would stop it from being required to get medicine, or receive treatment?

It is especially important to think about the implications of a National ID card after reading Dean Spade’s essay. While the process to receive hormones or surgery is already difficult, a National ID card would make this an even more complicated process. To be considered transsexual by the medical community requires individuals seeking surgery or hormones must conform to the diagnostic criteria for a GID diagnoses (Spade 25). Only once they have attained the notes from their doctors proving their sex can they change their sex on official documents or legally change their name (Spade 26).  The addition of a National ID card would make this process even more difficult. Not only would it be one more document to change, but it is probably a much more difficult and time consuming document to change. Also, if the card does contain personal information, such as medical information, a transsexual individual’s private medical information would be visible for anyone who can scan for it. Lastly, if this card is required to get hormones or receive surgery and for some reason they don’t have it, its lost or stolen, then they don’t have access to their hormones or their surgery could be pushed back.  While this card is meant to provide protection it in many ways limits and causes hindrances on peoples lives, especially transsexuals.

By Kristy Wilson

After reading the article by Dean Spade I really wanted to learn more about gender reassignment surgery. So I went on a search on the web where I ran across a news report about an old mining town called Trinidad Colorado. Here, they say, is the sex change capital of the world. Here in this little town is a woman named Marcie Bowers who does gender reassignment surgery. Marcie once was a man but underwent her own gender reassignment surgery and now she is known for the surgeries that she does to help those who want to become another sex. In the news report they talk about a man who is going to get surgery to become a women and how his wife is still going to stand by his side even though he wants to be a women. This made me very happy to know that not all partners up and leave when their partner tells them they want to change their sex.

The town seems to be very understanding of gender reassignment and doesn’t seem to judge those who are going through the process. To me it was interesting to find that this small town was popular for gender reassignment surgery. I find it rather cool.

After learning about this town I went on another search. My friend told me that she had seen an episode on True Life about gender reassignment. In this show you learn about Elle, a man wanting to become a women and Ted and women wanting to become a man. Both stories are sad. Elle knew she wanted to be a woman but fought her feelings and ended up getting married but finally she couldn’t live a lie so she told her wife about how she wanted to be a woman. Elle’s wife ended up leaving her and Elle went through a struggle with suicide and finally down the road she saved up enough money to get her Adams apple off and get breasts. Through this process her mother was by her side but sadly shortly after Elle’s surgery her mom past away leaving Elle with life insurance money which Elle ended up using to go get bottom surgery done and guess who did it? None other than Marcie from Trinidad Colorado. Elle was happy about her change and said it was a hard long process but it needed to be done.

Ted the one who wanted to become a man had a girlfriend and once he told his girlfriend that he wanted to become a man she was there to stand by his side through the process. For Ted it was hard. His family was not very supportive they didn’t see why he would want to get his breast removed and become a man, but finally they came around and ended up giving him money to help with his surgery. Both of these people showed me how hard and expensive this surgery is and how they have to struggle to get it done. It gave me more of an insight into gender reassignment surgery.

Kielly Perkins