A few months ago two-year-old Peanut referred to his tiny little "boobies." I started explaining that only girls have boobies and then stopped and corrected myself. "Actually, some men have boobies too." I've left it at that for now, also because he didn't make any further inquiries. But as his questions get more sophisticated, so will my answers, and I'm determined to raise him with the awareness of the various non-binary ways gender can manifest itself.
My impassioned support for LGBT rights is an integral part of my feminism. I simply couldn't imagine it any other way. Unfortunately not all feminists feel this way. It is truly inconceivable to me how members of a group that suffers discrimination can turn around and discriminate against others. But also, trans* women are subjected to all the evils of the patriarchy and misogyny that cis women are. We are sisters for goodness' sake!!
Despite having made some regrettable cis-sexist comments (that however led her to educate herself more about the subject), Caitlin Moran echoes my sentiments perfectly in her inimitable, hilarious way:
As a strident feminist, I’m always saddened by other feminists who rail against male-to-female transgenders - claiming you can only be born a woman, and not ‘become’ one. Holy moly, ladies - what exactly do you think is going wrong here? Having your male genitals remodelled as female, then committing to a lifetime of hormone therapy, sounds like a bit more of a commitment to being a woman than just accidentally being born one. And, besides, it’s an incredibly inhospitable stance to take. Personally, anyone who wants to join the Lady Party is welcome as far as I’m concerned. The more the merrier! (Moranthology)
If you agree with me that there is no room in feminism for transphobia, please read "A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism" here [NB: link no longer active], then join me and (at last count) over 500 other feminists who have signed the statement (the easiest way is to leave a comment), part of which I've reproduced here:
We, the undersigned trans* and cis scholars, writers, artists, and educators, want to publicly and openly affirm our commitment to a trans*-inclusive feminism and womanism.
When feminists exclude trans* women from women’s shelters, trans* women are left vulnerable to the worst kinds of violent, abusive misogyny, whether in men’s shelters, on the streets, or in abusive homes. When feminists demand that trans* women be excluded from women’s bathrooms and that genderqueer people choose a binary-marked bathroom, they make participation in the public sphere near-impossible, collaborate with a rigidity of gender identities that feminism has historically fought against, and erect yet another barrier to employment. When feminists teach transphobia, they drive trans* students away from education and the opportunities it provides.
(Thanks so much Avital Norman Nathman for the heads up.)