This post comes about after Milo Stewart, YouTube personailty and trans man said he was winding Blaire fans up to find more truscum to block. Milo then went on to defend his calling people scum saying things like “its an accepted term”. I had a quick look through the comments and it seems like people don’t really know what truscum means, so all of the above is essentially nonsense. So I figured I’d explain this in my usual conversational and easy to understand style.
Truscum comes from TruTrans™ as the meme goes, which comes from True Transsexual. I touched on this in a post before where I separated the two main wings of the trans label into “dysphorics” and “non-dysphorics”. True transsexual refers to the dysphoric camp. In short though, true transsexuals experience dysphoria and transition out of necessity in order to minimise our dysphoria, which in essence, makes life really bloody difficult to live. Trans in this instance means transsexual. The non-dysphorics on the other hand, transition out of a sociopolitical statement about gender and gender non-conformity. Trans in this instance means transgender.
Does this mean that the latter people aren’t trans? No, they just have a different idea of what being trans is. A non-dysphoric person is transgender by the definition of transgender, they are not transsexual. This causes a lot of confusion and upset amongst people who aren’t well versed in trans issues, such as the bathroom bills being framed as “transgender bathroom bills” – whilst also calling transvestites like Eddie Izzard “transgender”. I can see why people would be opposed to transvestites being allowed to use the ladies restroom. This is why I advocate for the separation of terms, we may have some overlap, but our two groups are distinct in their issues, needs & desires.
Transgender; ever since it became common use for “gender non conformity” has steamrollered transsexual. You very rarely hear people use the word transsexual these days, its all about the transgender. This isn’t just an imagined thing either, its actually measurable through Google Trends.
And it was obviously going to happen. Transsexual people are a teeny tiny minority of people, some pages such as this one even recognise that fact whilst also espousing us. NHS Statistics suggest 1.6 in 100,000 children are transsexual. Gender non-conforming people, ie cis people who don’t dress like typical dudes/chicks, are obviously going to significantly outweigh us. So when they added themselves to the “transgender umbrella” it sidelined actual transsexual people massively.
We became a minority group within our own minority group. Its absolutely unsurprising that the “transgender population” has been rising significantly quicker than we’ve ever seen the transsexual population rise. Its not merely awareness, its the inclusive nature of the transgender phenomena. Everyone is trans under the transgender term, even cis people.
For me personally? As long as I can access medical transition and I’m not discriminated against by jobs or whatever, I’m golden. I don’t need people to use my preferred pronouns, I don’t need people to use different language when talking about biological functions such as pregnancy, I don’t need people to change on my behalf. I’m changing me because I had a problem that needed fixing. You can stay yourself. Whereas the transgender side of the coin tend to try and change other people, instead of themselves.
What about Milo? I don’t think he’s non-dysphoric. I don’t know him very well, we’ve only had brief conversations on Twitter, often disagreements, but its always been pretty respectful. From what I’ve read I think he’s starting hormones soon, and has expressed having dysphoria himself – so given that I’d say he’s true transsexual himself. If he takes hormones without dysphoria, he’s likely to experience what I call “reverse dysphoria”. Which, in essence, is medically induced dysphoria. Heck no. Godspeed to anyone who decides to put themselves through dysphoria, because it bloody sucks.
Whether he believes in the trutrans vs transtrender dichotomy and which side he takes is largely irrelevant though. As for his defence of using truscum to describe trans people, here’s some screen caps of people using the term on Tumblr, these are the people you’re supporting Milo: