Conclusion and Sensitivities - what's next?

First and foremost, right now, what's going on through my mind these days can be put under the headline of tieing up some loose ends. Maybe that's exaggerating it somewhat. But so I have a few thoughts - like on

Trans-issues and Privilege

where ... I still don't feel like we have a comprehensive 'all-things-explainer' of some sorts. And however often I would try to be vocal about it in a "once and for all" type of mood, I'll usually at some point get around to the next thing.
And maybe ... that is because at some point people have to make up their own minds about it; And if we simply look at the fundamental beliefs of 'transphobes', the truth is that I find an unwillingness with things that exist outside of a certain circle that is being drawn.

However - I had a bit of a realization I meant to write about; Though it seems awefully trivial right now. But then I'm still bothered by it - as - from this anti-SJW background of mine, back in the day, I made some statements that I ... won't ... defend these days anymore. Yet I think it's better to not make it about 'statements', but about 'positions' (that one would make those statements from).
So was I referring to myself, to start with a little bit of a tangent, as a 'gray apple'. That is to say that I would refer to myself as Trans, simply based on the knowledge that hypothetically speaking I'm trans as per the most basic and medically valid definition of it, being somewhat out but not really living it (so, still identifying (or rather: presenting and socially engaging) as male). And so I felt entitled to make statements about the trans experience; Albeit with an asterisk. Being then confronted with my poor physique and issues that might have caused that, I eventually came out to myself and started to transition. And I suppose I can't stress enough, how much that changed my perspective on things. Or how much it changed things for me just in general. And it "smells" similar to that closing chant in my book (DFA) - in that it is a truth that seems to re-invent itself as one transitions through the "tree-rings" of time. So are the things being said eventually hyper-idealistic. As one who ... has come to some realization that they must change things for things to improve, but then possibly still gets caught up in the one or the other ditch of their own implicit failures of living up to the demand.
What I'm trying to get at, is that there was an internalistic reasoning and cause to my transition - because a part of me was also going like: "so I can more legitimately speak of the trans experience". Kind of like, "I'ma transition so I can speak on behalf of all trans people" - and I suppose that may be problematic regardless of where you're coming from. Though at the end of the day there's still the universal "closed vs. opened mind"-edness. So could I have come out of the closet merely to self-validate my opinions - as to move on living in the bubble of my own making; Intersecting then with whatever I'd be intersecting with. "Privileged European" I guess.

I mean, that's certainly what I am. Although I didn't inherit any wealth from anyone so far - the Luxury of having grown up in a wealthy family that was able to support me until in my twenties ... I would argue gave me an enormous headstart in terms of anything I went on to endeavour. Although that has nothing to do with me being trans.

What I struggled with for the longest time was the sentence "trans-women are women". I suppose, in part, I struggle with it even still. But so I also struggle with people being upset about maybe possibly being fetishized. Or so is there this huge mountain of ... let's call it by how it's spoken of colloquially these days: "pick-me-ism". So being "the good [insert minority]" - where 'good' is generally to sarcastically refer to positions in alignment with the status quo and all that. And here I may be lucky to be European and not American. But given that my cultural upbringing in that regard came from YouTube, it might not mean much.
So, technically then - I do fall into those intersections. Privileged and aligned with the status quo. Why the latter? I try to figure that out. Maybe it's because I enjoyed a very "bougie" upbringing. Though was it? I mean, my Grandfather owned a company. He sold it off because my Dad wouldn't continue the legacy - and what happened to those that bought it, I don't know. They rented our office and storage space for a while - but I certainly was too young to really ... understand the in's and outs of what happened. I believe they went bankrupt eventually.
And yet, he (my Grandfather) would make an effort to instill humility upon us. To say: "who doesn't value the penny, isn't worth the dollar" for instance. So we received pocket money and had all the privileges of wealth, but with a cap on it. By some standards a generous one - but some hustling and struggling was still involved when we really wanted something that wasn't just ... the day-to-day peanuts.
I mean, we - or I - had to literally campaign to convince my parents to buy Mario Paint - or later then: An actual computer. And I could be really persistent with things I wanted. Some of the stories of my childhood revolve around that. That I'd for instance turn into a crying banshee when I spotted something I wanted ... . Oddly enough, I've outgrown that. I mean, I for all it matters: Despise it. Yet ... I have everything I could want.
But more to the point, what my upbringing gave me was a sense of security that is now perpetuated by the German social politics - while understanding the world around me as wealthy; Or wealthy enough to give me that security.

And the way I see it, I might - from a perspective of adulthood - evolve into my Grandfather. Because he grew up during the height of Nazi Germany, being all stary-eyed upon being drafted into the military to being overcome by the sudden realization that it was all a really bad and sad joke as the war was coming to an end - his introduction to "the labor market" came somewhat late. As for most Germans his age. So - it was: Grow up to become a Soldier, be sent into war, loose the war, return to a destroyed country - which is quite different to: Go to school to become a productive member of society. And I realize now, as I'm to turn 40 this year, that I have the desire and perspective to work - to enter the labor market and in that sense provide for myself - that I start to understand this "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality a bit, or maybe a lot, better.

With all that being said, I do see 'closed mindedness' as a cancer that perpetuates the worse of what we've built, collectively. Or so: What our ancestors imparted upon us. And I don't see how there is a political label that would protect you from that. To say, that there are "political leeches" in every major political camp.
And yea, sometimes that closed mindedness comes as being so open minded, that one simply inverts back around into a closed off ideology. So ... "SJW"s - as they were called. People who internalized - we might say - the modality of promoting open-mindedness into a state of aggressive activism sans any or all willingness to engage with the nuances thereof. And that since has become a bit of a myth, I'd say, where "right-wingers" will still harp on about "the open marketplace of ideas" and "the left won't engage in debates" nonsense. But, ... whatever.
Fun fact: Before I knew what "SJW"s were - I used to frequent the Capcom forums; And there I made a few posts that were met with some odd vitriol. I didn't really understand what to make of it, and ... I understood that people would just in generally only touch me with a 10 foot pole, so it wasn't all that odd. But one person eventually mentioned "SJW" - not sure in which context. And inquiring upon what an SJW is, I was like "Ah! I know these!" - but was at that point thinking of overly zealous or strict Christians. The attitudes are certainly strikingly similar; And that lives on today in form of ... "the radical left" and "the LGBTQ+ community" being perpetuators of "the trans ideology" and "child grooming"; And regardless of how my opinions and sympathies align with those accusations, I have a differnt set of alarm-bells ringing in regards to those that perpetuate those ideas.

The thing is that in the hay-days of Gamergate and anti-SJW-ism, nuance was the big selling point of the anti-SJW side. But then around came 2016 - and so today we're talking of anti-Wokeness rather than anti-SJWs. Probably because there aren't really those SJWs lending themselves to cringe-compilations anymore. Instead we have dipshits taking deep dives into a person being trans and decrying the decline of masculinity. And as of that, so I'd argue, there are these male "macho pick-me"s that lend themselves to that dystopian narrative; So for people who might literally sit in their mum's basements to project their repressed hopes and dreams onto.

So, the odds for me to fall down that rabbit-hole were or are infinitessimal. As for what chance there is - well, I have to think about Dwarf Fortress. In that game one would dig into the rock and soil to build a Fortress - and upon digging deeper, one would encounter Caverns. Some might dig right down to the bedrock and molten stone without ever hitting one. Almost skillfully, if there were skill involved, avoiding them although frantically digging out exploratory tunnels. Sometimes one would punch into the ceiling of a large hub, making it a bit difficult to get to the bottom of it; And sometimes one would dig into in THE sweet spot for digging further down and walling off. Anyway, the point being that: To ... navigate the Caverns without compromising the Fortress' safety too much.

Now, my problems with the sentence "Trans-women are women" come from the understanding that Trans-women aren't cis-women, or so: Biological women. So, the fact that I "would have" to transition in order to be what some are by default, implies that I am not that by default and hence I'm something else. And that would have been the position I maintained - or, well. I still do. It is really one of those sweet spots - as it were. Like this:

The 'central staircase' of one of my Forts going through the Caverns.

And as in DF, the issue is that there are practical advantages to not closing off from the caverns entirely

Silk-shooting Forgotten beast and excess wood in an excess stockpile

Wood storage with safety feature

However, transitioning did change my perspective on it. So of course the pointe to all this. Like "duh". The biggest factor being, that transitioning - socially, outwardly - isn't merely a change of outfit. It comes along with it, and ... I suppose it's a period of sorts that every trans-person goes through. These awkward first steps where one will put on feminine things - and in part just for the sake of it - much to the likeness of a Cartman putting on a hairpin and proclaiming himself to identify as female. Where, on a sidenote: There has been a bit of a kerfuffle concerning "Kevin's with a Fish" (a.k.a. manly men showing up on lesbian dating-apps 'identifying as women') - which is funny, but ... now imagine a literal man who merely "identifies as a woman" now dating a lesbian. That's like a joke in and of itself.

And I will say, in the spirit of open-mindedness, that for women who are into butches ... there might be an angle of attack there.

Gender ... is complicated. And where there's hurting, there needs to be healing. Such and such.
Anyhow - so - ignoring reproductive organs - we might say that there comes a point in everyone's life, where they 'find themselves' - or ought to do so. In a sense of saying: Where the individual outgrows the baggage that has been put onto them by their parents. So does a child not choose what they wear - it is chosen for them - and by that virtue one is sortof sent onto a kind of social trajectory. My mother so was very keen on supporting our fashion choices, but not so much the price-tags associated with "the good stuff". We managed. while I dumped my stuff into nerd things like videogames and comics while my brother decked out his wardrobe. And here and there I had my favorite pieces, which matched the style but were of no discernable brand. Which worked better for me than the ... "cheap version" brand. But yea. Like father like son - in this sense however: Parents have a way of being oblivious to the struggles of the youth of the time.
I've come around appreciating the things that our mum did for us!

And yea, there's a side to this story of the things that the young'uns don't see. But that's a different story.
But so ... 'finding one's self' - in a fashion sense - isn't what the youth does. I'd argue. Kids are impressionable and as of the things then they aspire to be, they cobble some kind of worldview together within which ... everything is somewhat simplified, superfluous and marginally deep. Or whatever. Where, I can tell from experience for instance, that gender doesn't necessarily factor into that. Though had I been asked and giving honest answers, I would have been aware that I was trans. Yet my presentation was pretty much anti-trans. So that at a point my choices for what bedsheets to buy, for instance, were specifically that. To, with scientific accuracy, create a smoke-screen of sorts as to have a wall of deniability at my disposal.

And so when choosing to transition, though it starts by merely changing the gender-code of one's presentation, there comes an internal shift - well, sortof Transformers style - as what has been repressed gets to now shine, and what masking mechanisms have been employed get withdrawn, so that the internal emotional configuration or how to put it is a different one. And maybe, in some sense, that means that the person becomes a whole new person. So, depending on what you liked about that person, you might find that a lot of it 'was untrue' - whether you would regard it so or not. And depending on your emotional intelligence you might find that the person then is a lot more 'real'. And underneath it all ... there's gender.

Gender here eventually starts with "the social construct". The impetus to behave according to a vague yet monolithical performance. And in that regard, Queerness starts with Gender non-Conformity. And thus, I'd argue, is where you'd find your eccentric gays, drag queens, dyed hair influencers and the like. With it comes a pronoun space that has since become legendary - and I cannot muster enough good will to 'master' its knowledge; But has since also come around a simplified version, codified into the pronouns: they/them. My understanding there is however, that the general drive is for one to distance themselves from the binary labels. He/him and she/her. To say that there is a gender-non-conformity at the core of this form of "transness" that may further be specified in a variety of ways. As along a social spectrum could there by "disdain for the contemporary gender code" - but on the other is the "more pure" 'intrinsic otherness'. Something that might at the end of the day have as little to do with reproduction as ... running a metal industry, in Dwarf Fortress, without access to coal (or any other kind of wood-based endeavor) has to do with war and peace with the Elves. It's something that ... just comes; Though some might provoke it; And between trying to maintain peace and being dragged into warfare - the Elves are for the most part just there.

The point then being as much as to 'claim' an identity. As so, everyone has "gender" - by virtue of language recognizing people via pronouns. So are there the he/him's and the she/her's - and it sure makes sense as an emergent property based on a variety of key ... things. So, ignoring the bigoted confusion around the topic, everyone knows - generally - what a man and a woman is - in the social sense. And the thing with the genitals provides our parents with an idea of what to impose upon us; And respectively how we identify going forward. And generally the other genetic/hormonal properties that come with that condition bring an emergent synergy with that construct. That is perfectly normal. One has to wonder however, how cultures or societies that are the most homo- and transphobic also tend to be those that consume the most gay and trans related porn. [Scornful Reminder]
And sure. Depending on what is expected of an individual, the thresholds for gender non-conformity may shift. So you there may further find the they/him's and the they/her's; As ... the beginning of this "otherness" that culminates in a more strict 'non-binary' understanding of their gender identity.

So, ignoring what circumstantial confusion there might be to this, what must be highlighted I think is that pronouns speak to a deep internal truth that we catch up on as we grow older. So, what gender is. At least in the grand scheme of things. And that you so do not instill healthy gender values into a child by insisting they behave a certain way. You rather do so by giving them good examples.

So then the issue of misgendering. What happens there can be described as a physical process. If I turn around and accidentally elbow someone in the face - that's an accident. But that person is still going to feel it. And yea. This analogy ... well. There's some vile places we can take this. But the point still is that it isn't a choice. I mean - the thing is this: After I started to transition and became more whole, by adopting the proper gender identity; Getting misgendered started to actually feel ... somehow. Rather than me taking it for granted. And what improved about my condition when transitioning, created a new baseline for what I would understand to be 'wellness'. And being misgendered does effectively take away from that. It's like a "back into the ditch". And so the transphobic demand that we "better get used to it".
And still I would argue that developing a thick skin is a good or OK thing to do. The problem being, so - uhm, what the thick skin is there for, or does, is to make it easier to make sense of the misgendering; To not read it as an invalidation that is. So I would tell me that it's my voice, or my voice and my demeanor, or maybe that I'm awesome in a way generally associated to "male competence". But it's usually also never that simple. So is there also internalized transphobia, that is: the whole realm of personal doubts and insecurities. And yea, when the misgendering IS an invalidation - well. It depends. I'd say it is the easier thing to grow a thick skin against - because there you can just say that those people are idiots. It does however get more difficult again once it isn't as easy as to just call everyone an idiot.

And so: Trans-women are women. They may not be biological (a.k.a. cis) women, but depending on how deep it goes, they can become almost identical to one. The reason why trans-women are women is, because they identify as such. And sure - attack helicopter jokes. There is however a difference between superficial identification and internal identification, let's say. If you say you identify as an attack helicopter, you do you and you go ahead and try to get someone to install a motor and fuel tank and all that into you. Learn to fly! Or do then, whatever it is that makes you you in that regard. What it is that you need to do to live your inner attack helicopter. Or you may identify as the president of the united states. Same thing! You go ahead and ... do that. Become a politician and try to get elected.
The reason why these examples are so absurd is because that's what people think about transitioning. So they pick some outlandish thing - arguably to make the case that one cannot will themselves into what it is - but by accident make the case of things they themselves wouldn't aspire to be, realistically, thus avoiding the crux of the argument.

And so I guess I have to say that trans people who aren't out to themselves yet - so: Gray Apples - are NOT ... what they WOULD identify as. Or maybe do, but ... without commitment. It sure does make things a little easier, in the grand scheme of things. But it also applies pressure - so that if they really want to be recognized for who they are, they start by being themselves. And if it turns out that there is no transition required, whatsoever, you're also not really trans! Don't be a Cartman!
But more to the point: While being a Gray Apple gives you 'some' of the experience of being trans, it doesn't give you the 'actual' experience of 'being' trans. As a Gray Apple, your experience is determined by 'not' (yet) wanting to transition; Your internal alignments are yet those dominated by the expectations imposed upon you. And generally there's only three ways forward: a) you find yourself not being trans, b) you find yourself being trans, or c) you don't find yourself (perhaps because you don't want to find out).

This now took longer than I had expected; And therefore ... I call it a day. I've had such a great weekend not turning on my computer ... and that is certainly a habit I want to further cultivate somehow.