Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crossdreaming of a Better World


I am wondering why you focus on the crossdreamer term. It is relatively new and that community is still settling. There has been discussion by a small number of folks who are pushing the fetish theory very hard, but they seem to be being told off. I just hate to see a term floated and embraced initially by folks who are not in the fetish theory camp lose it's intended meaning because of a few bad apples.

Crossdreaming to my knowledge does not in any way mean that being transgender is a fetish, there just happen to be fetish theory folks operating in the crossdreaming space. Crossdreaming was intended as a term for folk who have trans feelings but feel that medical intervention or other physical expression of their feelings was not appropriate for them. Folks in that category have generally not been welcome to discuss their feeling in trans identified spaces. It is not all just what gets you off, as the fetish theory folks say, it is about how you feel in a variety of ways.

This is the problem within the larger community... always someone trying to say the other guy is just a pervert, so everyone ends up with strange stilted discussions and scrolling through reams of fiction and captions to find the few things that match their experience or desires alone.
-Anonymous


You're right, I should not be specifying Cross dreamers. Thanks for bringing this up, and I apologize.
However, I don't think it is fair to say it is a small number of cross dreamers that are pushing negative and damaging autogynephilia theories. I don't have specific numbers but the reason I tagged cross dreaming in the transphobia post, albeit unfairly as you pointed out, was because it seems very common that the two are connected.

I've read comments from cross dreamers that they feel marginalized by others in the transgender community. I think there is a lot of internal fighting going on even in the larger LGBT community, and none of it is helpful. That said, I hardly think cross dreamers are marginalized any more by transsexuals than they marginalize transsexuals. Transphobia is so deeply internalized in the cross dreamer community that they do not recognize how damaging and unacceptable it is to fetishize becoming a “real girl” and then place negative value-judgements on, insult, and attempt to  censor and ostracize “that shemale stuff”.

That shemale stuff is so gay.

The absolute best example I can give, that might exist on the internet is TF-Media, and the vast majority of its fans, contributors, and captioners. The old site is dead, but a new blog has risen, and there are so many bloggers out there that are part of this deeply transphobic and almost entirely cross dreaming gang. I was there very briefly, and my content was summarily rejected by the site administrator EXPLICITELY for being gay. Gay. Transgender issues, to TF-Media and EVERY SINGLE SUPPORTOR BY EXTENTION... are gay. 

This is autogynephilia. 

This is transphobia. 

This is cross dreamers. 

You’ll hear lots of applause for TF-Media, and that’s applause from transphobic people. They don’t think they are, but they are.

If you want other examples, look to the sites I mentioned before: havens, sanctuaries, and a whole lot of confessions on blogs. This is the cross dreaming community, and this is where transphobic remarks are found, and this is not generally where transgender content is accepted.

So you are correct, not all cross dreamers are transphobic. Too many are.

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for a very interesting post. And thank you to "anonymous" for bringing this up.

    I was actually the one who came up with the term "crossdreaming", as I realized we needed a non-toxic alternative to the stigmatizing and sexist "autogynephilia".

    A lot of transpeople get aroused from fantasies of having sex in a body of their target sex. It is unavoidable. I have a hard time imagining how a pre-op transwoman, for instance, can have erotic fantasies without thinking of herself as a woman.

    I noted, however, that the topic has become taboo, both among transsexuals and among other transgender. Taboos causes a lot of repression, guilt and psychological problems, so I decided to get the topic out in the open.

    I see now that the term has been embraced by transphobic people who do their best to define crossdreaming as a fetish. That is: They are arguing that crossdreaming is a mental illness, bringing us back to square one.

    They are often very confused as to what a fetish is. Autogynephilia is for instance not a fetish, according to the concept's maker, Blanchard, but this does not seem to bother them. They use the weapons they can find.

    I sometimes wonder if the intensity of their argument is caused by fear, fear of being transsexual, in the same way some of the most militant homophobes are gay themselves.

    Anyway: Let me make this very clear: Crossdreaming was meant as a neutral term. It was supposed to be a word used to describe transgender and gender variant people who get aroused by the idea of being their target sex. The term in itself did not include an explanation for how these fantasies come about (unlike auto-gyne-philia, the love of yourself as a woman).

    The term was definitely not meant to question the self identity of transmen and transwomen. Their sex identity is, in my opinion, very real and definitely not the result of a fetish or a mental illness.

    I am convinced that crossdreaming is the psyche's way of expressing an inborn sex identity that has been suppressed due to hostile cultural surroundings. Crossdreaming and crossdressing are therefore not fetishes, although they may be expressed in fetish like desires and behavior.

    At the moment I am under a heavy bombardment over at my blog from fetish-oriented crossdreamers who find me self-delusional, naive and dangerous, and who find it hard to believe that I can actually believe that MTF crossdreamers may have a female sex identity.

    cont....

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  2. ...continued

    For me this is another example of how destructive the medical community's intense urge to pathological diversity is for transgender people.

    But it seems this is the only language these crossdreamers know. It clearly gives them a sense of meaning, and they are completely unable to think outside the ruling paradigm.

    We are talking about some kind of Stockholm syndrome, I guess. They remind me of the 19th and 20th century women who with great intelligence promoted the idea that women did not have the intellectual capabilities needed to vote.

    It seemsI will have to make it clear to these people that the crossdreaming term is not for them.

    It would also help if you and others stopped using the term as a synonym for transphobic fetish-supporters. If that association sticks, several years of intense work gaining respect for crossdreamers will go down the drain.

    As for your idea that the transgender fiction communities being inherently transphobic and homophobic: I find no proof of this.

    Sure, these communities have their share of sexists, and some express such feelings in a desperate attempt at bolstering their fragile male egos. But the people I have learned to know are mostly tolerant, open-minded and creative people.

    Many of them are also clearly transsexual, and they get support and help from their sisters in these forums. Rachel's Haven is an excellent example of such a forum.

    As for the content of the erotic material produced and provided, much of it is "homosexual", in the sense that it describes lesbian relationships. You might find some aversion to male/male same-sex relationships,though, partly because the majority of the readers and writers are gynephilic, and partly because some are disturbed by their dreams of being a woman having sex with a man.

    Please note that the term used by the participants of these forums and blogs to describe their community is TG (short for transgender). They would hardly have used this term if they had not accepted their own "transgenderness."

    By the way, you will find the same in the Female to Male fiction forums (Boy's Love manga and Yaoi).

    The FTM crossdreamers write and read stories about homosexual relationships between men, which in no way can be considered homophobic. To the extent you find sexism in those circles, it is expressed as contempt for MTF crossdressers! (It never end, does it?)

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  3. Ive been watching your posts on this subject with interest and while I dont often comment on other peoples blogs due to the limited time I have I felt I should pitch in on this one. Ive been a massive fan of your blog for many years and fully support the choices you have made in your life so far, and also the fact that as you have found yourself you have become a lot more vocal and unafraid to be yourself and tackle more serious subjects head on (I do miss the caps though). I also dip into the odd post on Jacks blog too as he does bring up some fascinating subjects.

    I am a Transvestite (not a fetishistic one) who has recently come out to my long term girlfriend. I am Gender Dysphoric to some degree but dont feel the need to express this 24/7, and as far as my limited understanding of the subject goes I believe I am also a crossdreamer. The fantasy of being a woman in a relationship with a male is one I visit from time to time and it is intriguing too, and its one I live out through various caption and fiction websites. This fantasy is not specific to being either a genetic girl, TV or TS and I enjoy caps featuring all.

    I agree with Jack that there is a number of transphobic people who appear to be trying to take the crossdreaming theory out of context to suit their own needs, and somewhat naively was not aware that a few websites and blogs I regularly enjoy are part of this movement, as I do not submit my own work how would I be aware of this. I find it quite interesting that they consider any work that includes a TS woman as being gay when their fantasy often involves having sex with men. I think they must be going through some kind of denial, the same as some crossdressers who enjoy but can only have sex with men when dressed as a woman to try and justify the act, but would never do it when dressed as a man as they would be disgusted with themselves. They can only enjoy the fantasy when it is as a 'straight' relationship.

    While I have never contributed any works to their sites I do advertise them on my own blog which is a large TG links collection for websites and blog rolls. My first gut reaction was to find out who they were and what they said, then consider removing the links from my blog but then this isn't going to solve anything. As you have said, there is massive infighting between all areas of the LGBT community as it is. How can we expect tolerance from people outside of this community when there are people that do not tolerate each other from not only within the LGBT community, but also the TG community specifically. Dividing ourselves further will not help, we need to iron out our differences and move forward together.

    I believe that the number of people that are transphobic in this community is extremely small however by the sounds of things because they run quite high profile sites means their views are being smeared onto the rest of us. I am curious with how many websites you've had problems with, who they were and what they said.

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  4. I thank you both for sharing your comments. I'm not sure how you both can quantify how many or few crossdreamers are transphobic. That feels like minimizing a problem.

    I can't quantify how many there are either, but I challenge the assertion their numbers are few and as I said many people who are not transphobic themselves are part of the problem because they protect or deny that three problem exists at all.

    No evidence? Figure it out. I'm not going to carry on like a Court case when I have things to discuss. Pay attention, use search on Rachel's Haven and look around. Or just deny, but ignoring openly transphobic examples I presented like tf media makes me doubt your credibility.

    I am referring, when I mention tfmedia not having permitted gay content, to the fact that I was posting trans contwnt, and it was being labeled gay because of the penises. Lesbian was accepted, heterosexual was fine, anthro was fine. Trans was rejected.

    If that was or remains unclear, please let me know.I am typing from my phone.

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  6. I suppose none of us can accurately quantify it either way, and I dont visit a lot of the websites like Haven or Sanctuary where you've mentioned this is an issue so my view of it may be skewed. Apart from the occasional stop at TF Media I only really visit blogs and in both cases often dont always read other peoples comments. Im in no way trying to minimise a problem, I can only comment on my experience. It doesn't matter how big or small the issue is however, Transphobia is not acceptable regardless of where it comes from. The question is how best to fight it while also repairing the credibility of the crossdreaming theory which seems to have been corrupted along the way.

    I think we also have to consider the large number of people who do not comment as well. As it always has been with the internet, often there is a vocal minority (compared to the total audience) who often (but not always) get their voices heard because they are the ones making the noise, wheras the majority often don't share their views but because they never comment or get involved we will never know how big an issue it really is.

    I can see why Jack is being defensive, as he has said the crossdreaming term was coined by him and he is obviously frustrated (as I would be) that other people are trying to twist it, much in the same way as religious extremists twist religious doctrine. Like I said I am in no way siding with these people, I agree with you wholeheartedly and would love to help where I can, but being a crossdreamer I need to make sure that its the Transphobia that is being discussed and fought, not the crossdreamers.

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  7. Thanks again Suzy.

    I appreciate frustration in how crossdreaming is being misrepresented. I will endeavor to leave the term out when discussing transphobia in future. Anyone can be transphobic, including trans peoples ourselves.

    While I respect that you are trying to distance yourself from autogyn negative publicity by creating a new term, I hope that the separation does not end there. I have felt marginalized by several of your posts Jack. I don't know if your intention is to show manypoints of view or id you believe them, but it can't escape your notice that crossdreamers.com has blog posts about theories that are considered transpbobic, autogyn. I feel that might not help crossdreamers be viewed as trans positive.

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  8. The unjustified demonization of fetishism?

    Because for a large fraction of people IT IS nothing more than something that sexually arouses them (a fetish). And most of these people are neither transphobic or fearful of being so, or neither saying that it is an illness, just a harmless variant among fetishes. Jack Molay wants to propagate the theory that sexual feminization fantasies denotes an underlying gender discord, and that anyone who claims to simply have a fetish is suppressing their "inner woman". If it is just a fetish for some (like myself) then that infers the possibility that it influences gender-dysphoria. This isn't to say that the dysphoria or feminine self-identification is necessarily inauthentic or perverted.

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  9. Wow lots of comments! Maybe I should put keyword crossdreamer more often LOL.

    I don't get the sense that Jack is blanketing all those who fetish feminization as gender identity issues. I sure am not.

    I'm sorry anonymous, if that is your real name, but I'm having trouble understanding your message. Would you please explain?

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  10. @bubblepopmei - I'm the person who posted in the other thread about care with the term. In response you lined up crossdreamers, autogynes and the transphobic as if they were the same. They are separate traits/experssions/explinations. Think of it as being a transsexual does not make you a fashion enthusiast, but it wouldn't be hard for me to make it seem that way from the internet. Transphobic people will also be other things. You seem to get this in a your later responses, so I'll move on.

    @Anon Fetishism has a negative connotation. It was not commonly used as a term for general sexual arousal, it was a term for being exclusively aroused by something outside the common experience. Often with accompanying obsessive traits and addiction like impairment. You want to reclaim this word? That is okay, but do not try to force it on others.

    Reclamation only works for those who self identify with a term, not for those have it thrust upon them. To the later it is just abusive. See discussions of other perfectly good words that became slurs for reference. Coining new terms usually works much better, then work back if you still feel a need for the term.

    If nothing else, think of it this way. Saying to someone born male, your desire to live in many/most/all ways as a woman is equivalent to this guy's desire to fuck a shoe is not going to make you any friends. The guy and his footwear shouldn't be a problem for anyone, true, but it isn't equivalent in scale to the other. Whether they share any cause/similarity is open to debate I guess, but reducing any transgender issue to the scale of the man and his shoe is insulting.

    @everyone We are a marginalized group, we have to be far more aware of language than most. To many we are simply mentally or morally ill. Changing that will take a lot of time and using less loaded language will help. We all get frustrated with having our identities questioned so let's show a little compassion for siblings along this road. People are rightly afraid of the real world consequences of labels, let's try not to tar and feather the new ones with the baggage of the old ones. Just look to the transgender vs transsexual debates to see how destructive this will get.

    For the record I am Sean. I tend to use the anon tag because I don't have e-mail address that doesn't include my full name right now. Having lost a job and more than a few friends over this issue, I prefer to lurk more often than not right now.

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  11. Thanks again for your feedback and thoughts, Sean. I'm no expert and not afraid to be called on my shit. Thanks for doing so.

    LOL at how awkward I feel now. I'm not used to content of this sort. I'm not really sure how I could follow up this blog post with something sugary smutty.

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  12. @Sean

    I know the difficulties with the term "fetish", for myself and many others its usage is a reclamation. Perhaps a new word would be useful ("phenomenological singularity of sexual arousal" doesn't seem like it will catch on), but who knows if it will hold up, perhaps it stands as much chance as the propogation our own usage of the term "fetish". Our understanding is that the presupposed normality which is opposed to fetishism is false. That all sexuality is substantially fetishistic and affirmative.

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  13. @bubblepopmei

    I am definitely covering transphobic theories on my blog, including "autogynephilia" and fetish theories, but never with the intent of supporting them. Quite the opposite. My goal has always been to put these theories into a cultural and historical context and show how these scientists (and their supporters) use quasi-science to suppress transgender people.

    I believe we have to present, analyze and debunk the theories of those that want to hurt us, being those scientists, religious moralists or misguided crossdreamers and transwomen.

    I realize, however, that it may be hard to use the blog media for this purpose, as people come and go, many having read only one or two of my blogposts, not seeing the whole picture.

    So let me make this very clear: I do not support any fetish or paraphilia theory that tries to denigrate the true sex identity of transmen and transwomen. I believe there is an inborn core to most, if not all, transgender variants. This is exactly why I am so often attacked by separatist transwomen and pro-fetish crossdressers.

    It is a bit clearer to me now what you have faced over at TF Media. You have met some of the more prudish TG fiction enthusiasts, and some of those may be both trans- and homophobic.

    Both Fictionmania and sites like Rachel's Haven have grading systems, where stories or preferences go from PG to XXX. In the TG caption exchanges taking place over at Rachel's Haven there is a wide variety of preferences, from those who prefer no nakedness to those who enjoy hard core imagery. I would say that the longer you get out on the "adult" side of the axis, the more penises you will find.

    But: Even in the soft captions and stories I will argue that the most common theme is man/woman relationships. This is based on my subjective experience from having studied some of these media outlets, of course, but I do not think I am very much off the mark.

    It seems to me that the MTF transgender writing this stuff do not think of these as "gay relationships." They think of them as heterosexual relationships reaffirming the femininity of their post-transformation self.

    They are perfectly capable of distinguishing between the fantasy (in which they are lured or forced into being with men) and the real world, in which they are gynephilic.

    A parallel is found in XX lesbian women who watch gay male porn and make use of strap-ons.

    Still, I am sure there are those that feel disturbed and threatened by fantasies of male penetration and who therefore try to protect themselves by homophobic arguments. It seems to me the fear of being called gay is stronger than the fear of being called trans. This may also be why the plot of so many TG stories and caption requires that the protagonist is forced into having sex with a man. This relieves some of the guilt or shame, and that guilt or shame may have a unconscious homophobic element, even if the writer is a strong supporter of LGBT rights.

    So, I am not belittling the problem. I am just saying that it is unfair to make it into a general description of what the TG fiction and caption culture really is.

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  14. "I am definitely covering transphobic theories on my blog, including "autogynephilia" and fetish theories, but never with the intent of supporting them."

    "use quasi-science to suppress transgender people."

    "I believe we have to present, analyze and debunk the theories of those that want to hurt us, being those scientists, religious moralists or misguided crossdreamers and transwomen."

    "So let me make this very clear: I do not support any fetish or paraphilia theory that tries to denigrate the true sex identity of transmen and transwomen."

    For Jack it has never been about truth in itself not matter how uncomfortable it may potentially be, rather anything that supports the motives highlighted above.

    "I believe there is an inborn core to most, if not all, transgender variants."

    For us that this is nothing but something that arouses us(a "fetish"), this statement is as idiotic as stating that balloon or cuckold fetishism has a biological basis! A misguided attempt to purify all perceived* bodily-dypshoric identity, at the utter expense of innocent harmless fetishists. It would be interesting to witness how Jack reacts to someone who mistakenly transitions and calls him out on it.

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  15. @anonymous
    I'm sorry I don't understand what you are saying. Please rephrase. Who is mistakenly transitioning? I think my understanding of your comment is wrong, or your understanding of the universe is off.

    @Jack
    Thanks again for the comment. I'm one such viewer who reads many blogs but none avidly. I've been walking around with the impression you are the demon of autogyn. Even though you surely didn't know, I apologize for misunderstandings you.

    I never said the majority or even a significant number of the tg fiction community is transphobic. I said the majority at tf media were, and I stand by that.

    the site admin there was calling the shots, the shots were transphobic and homophobic. The others supported him, either vocally or silently, and when he wanted those people whowere unhappy with his policy out, they behaved like a xult, shunning them and I believe many to this day likely have no clue their behavior slows lgbt progress and the growth of the human race.

    The Haven is not like tf media but a search will bring up many examples of transphobic language.

    I don't think you would see that if your captions always were perceived as heterosexual real girl transformation.

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  16. I was referring to the potential dangers of wrongly coaxing people into thinking that what they are aroused by is indicative of an underlying discord.

    You see, what one is, rather than a matter of being self-evident, is substantially going to be ideological or a matter of how one rationalizes experience.

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  17. @Anonymous

    So it is your perception of the universe that is wrong. Thanks for clearing that up.

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  18. @bubblepopmei

    "is blanketing all those who fetish feminization as gender identity issues. I sure am not."

    So do you, or do you not endorse coaxing people into thinking that what they are aroused by is indicative of an underlying discord?

    Also do you believe that how one relates, rationalizes and desires plays no part in how one identifies oneself?

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  19. Christina A DiEdoardoAugust 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Anon:
    Who do you suppose is doing the "coaxing" ? As a TS who has been full time since 2005 and on HRT since 2003, I can assure you that the system in both the States (and from what my Canadian sisters report, Canada as well) is set up to *discourage* transition--or at least, to dissuade the weekend warriors.

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  20. @Christina A DiEdoardo

    The culture of "coaxing" exists on online feminization fetishism (aka "crossdreaming") communities. A large fraction of members all too casually endorse that feminization fetishism indicates an underlying gender dysphoria, without addressing deeper issues. Some without hesitation, even directly endorse taking hormones to feminize the body.

    As I stated before, what one is is hardly self-evident. How one rationalizes the fetish plays a huge role in whether one identifies and invests in the gender-dysphoric narrative. It often seems the at the entrance door to these communities you have people spoon feeding this narrative to all comers.

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  21. I'm the admin of the new TF-Media site and we have never rejected a single caption from anyone.

    I think you'd be presently surprised if you came to the site (new new site) and talked to the people on it.

    Best,
    ~Amy

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