One of the things that's been a contentious issue ever since I transitioned in 1994 and have been around the transgender community is this ongoing battle between the pre-ops/non-ops and post-ops.
Frankly, that's more of a white transwoman thang that I try to stay out of, but here's my take on this asinine mess.
Much of the sniping between the two groups has several elements to it. But the major bone of contention between the pre and post-ops is over the word 'transgender'.
The reason a majority of people in the community use it is because it's an inclusive umbrella term for the entire diverse community of gender variant people.
The post-ops usual argument is that the pre/non-ops haven't worked hard enough to save money like 'they' did to have GRS (genital reconfiguration surgery), so don't hate on them. They can't (or won't) understand why any transsexual would want to keep that 'ugh' male organ.
Post -ops also assert that they are being lumped in with the transgender community 'against their will' and it keeps 'them' from being accepted by natal females as women. They claim that one day the 'silent majority' of post-ops will revolt against this 'oppressive' situation and not only start their own movement, but push for laws that give rights only to transgender people who have completed surgery.
Yo, did y'all consider the fact that the reason y'all have problems being accepted as women is because of all that WMP that you're still clutching on to like a wino holding his last bottle of MD 20/20?
On the flip side, the pre/non-op argument is that the post ops are not only wrong, but are selfish, arrogant and bitter people who have not only turned their backs on their less fortunate sisters, but have forgotten where they came from. The pre/non-ops also assert that ignoring the fact that many peeps can't have GRS for medical reasons is callous, and the 'just work hard and save for GRS' argument, while I agree with it in principle, the fact that this line is almost always spouted by white post-ops and ignores the reality that transpeople of color live with. We don't have the access to the financial resources that many of these former white males did.
In addition, basing transgender rights on genitalia is not only shortsighted, but cuts large swaths of the community out of the post-op proposed legislation. The genitalia only test cuts out transmen and intersex people. It also cuts out the peeps who can't have GRS for medical reasons or because the medical GRS technology for transmen at this time is woefully lacking.
Personally, as someone who prefers a Kingian broad stroke approach to civil rights legislation, the post-op arguments to me are insensitive, borderline prejudiced and racist, laced with white male privilege and smack of Hateraid for non-ops as well. .
One pattern I continue to see with some white post ops is that they blitz through the real life test and go straight to the table for surgery. They they wonder why and get mad because they spent $10K for a neocoochie and got 'sirred', while a non-op with five incles of neoclit in her lace panites gets treated as a female.
A major reason is that because GRS for some pre/non-ops will happen about the same time George W. Bush gets nominated for a Nobel Peace prize and they know it, the pre/non-op spends more time focusing and perfecting the internal and spiritual aspects of femininity.
Anybody with positive cash flow can get an improved female body, but femininty is a learned, spiritual, constantly evolving journey. You aren't going to master it (if you ever do) if you're more concerned about getting the earliest possible surgery date or stressing because you didn't get the day you wanted for your facial feminization surgery consultation.
These pre-op/post op skirmishes tend to not only be a white thang, but increasingly a generational and racial one as well. It's limited to those people who grew up with the rigid societal gender roles of the 40's, 50's and 60's and those people who obtained GRS after running through the more restrictive HBIGDA/WPATH Standards of Care gauntlet in place at the time.
I noticed that neither the African-American transgender community, nor is the younger generation of white transgender people as fixated on genitalia as some of these post-ops, Barney and the Religious Reich.
It's time for all of us, pre, post and non-op transpeople to take a deep breath, go to our neutral corners, chill out, realize that the Reichers hate all of us and work to codify civil rights protections for 'errbody' in the community. .