This follows on from a couple of things… first a piece by Paris Lees in the Indie blogs…I’m not so interested in the piece itself (though its a good piece etc etc) but in the comments where someone raised the rights of furries to identify how they wished.
Someone immediately leapt in to make the point thats transgender is about human rights and equality blahdy blah. Whereas furries are ‘just’ a kink… its an argument often used by those seen to be anti trans to talk about people wanting to become animals and how ridiculous where will this slippery slope of body modification end. And as such its shouted down vehemently just as often as ‘ridiculous’ and demeaning to their cause by those on the trans side of the argument.
Having spent time in the kink community (y’all know community is a very loose phraseology here)… let’s rephrase… Having spent time with people who take their paraphilias very seriously I’d say some of the arguments heard there are very similar to ones heard in the trans community….
Bear with me on this…. lets stick with furries… people with an animalistic identity (disorder?) [if there were enough furries out there i’m sure such a disorder would make it into the big mental book of disorders].
For some furries its just fun… a bit like crossdressing for the odd party.
For some furries it gets meshed up in a sexual dimension…. like transvesticism does… they can both be seen as kinks and treated that way by the people involved as the fucker or fuckee.
Others with animalistic identities… live with it… express it how and when they can…. it goes way beyond the sexual.. may not involve the sexual at all… its something that makes them feel whole… at peace… makes them feel right.
Ocassionally someone will make their way into the pages of Bizarre or the tabloids becuase they’ve gone to the extremems of surgery… or tattooing… here’s ‘cat man‘ (the most obvious and extreme example that came straight to my mind).
Here too is Venus Angelic again, dollification, objectification can be kinks… they can also be something that the person feels is intrinsic to them as an individual and the only way to assuage their dysphoria is to immerse deeper into being something people don’t see them as originally being.
I know, I know how can i compare such things with transsexuality?
But i can.
On my last mental bimbling someone commented that their body dysphoria would still exist in a perfect world… and i wondered what physical form would have eased that dysphoria if they had been brought up in social isolation… in a box (there are people who would like that too).
Is body dysphoria just a feeling or wrongness that most usually is eased by a gender change becuase thats whats most usual out there… the most socially acceptable change… the easiest way to interpret the need?
I know someone who has an extra joint in their spinal cord… a coccyx that actually looks like a residual tail… and they would LOVE a tail. Hell… they’d suit a tail… why shouldn’t they have a tail if it were possible?
I think in time the boundaries of body modification will be stretched… don’t for a minute think I’m likening a prince albert to GRS… I think I’m saying ‘in some cases’ they come from a similar place in people.
A need to change… be something else… be the person you want to be.
the T for trans the Q for queer get added to the end of LGB.. and they don’t sit quite right there…. they don’t sit quite right with body modifications either… or paraphilias (and i use that word like society uses transsexual – its a medicalised word)….
but what all those things have in common is a desire to be themselves and Transgender certainly isn’t the bottom of the pile when it comes to being socially unacceptable… they are well on the way up into the circle of acceptability.
Spare a thought for those at the extremes of body dysphoria… and don’t kick ’em down once your higher up the ladder the way the gay community sometimes do with trans.
Again as a commenter said on my last blog… we don’t KNOW the answers… so we should just accept others as we expect to be accepted ourselves… and where we have the capability to ease feelings of their ‘wrongness’ we should help to do so.