Make it Count: Transgender Population Deserves Recognition and Respect

Make it Count: Transgender Population Deserves Recognition and Respect

 

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As trans porn popularity reaches new heights, the community still struggles with appropriate representation. 

When it comes to the world of porn, most of us are fairly used to the industry taking no prisoners. While the industry is indeed changing— looking to get rid of historically discriminatory tropes and verbiage, categories like Shemale porn still remain hugely popular, and widely searched for. Despite the discomfort around the topic, the term “shemale” specifically presented in porn actually provides some serious insight into the failings of societal labeling, recognition, and allocation of services— but not necessarily in a bad way. 

 

In fact, the genre is so popular, that it’s brought some important questions to light for the wider community and how the rest of society interacts with them. Unveiling that while the taboo may be well removed from our minds— the way we label, treat and recognize members of the trans community still has a long way to go. 

Shedding Old Habits 

The importance of properly labeling and identifying the many nuances that come with being a member of the transgender community is not only an important part of affirming identities across the board, as well as normalizing them, but could also help to better allocate things like research and community programs. Many labels have been used and discarded throughout generations within the trans communities, where once socially appropriate terms like “transsexual” and “cross-dresser” have been left by the wayside. Making room for more inclusive terms like “transgender”, “medical transition” and “behavioural transition”. Allowing each individual, a way to affirm their individual place within the community and their own specific journey. 

 

Still— searching for things like “transgender porn” may not give the results that certain individuals are looking for, instead using terms like M2F or F2M, which also present their own issues. Much like modern research and census options— simply ticking a box entitled “transgender” doesn’t quite fit the bill for most in the community, instead being able to choose between things like transgender male, transgender female, or gender no conforming (GNC) could all help more readily identify and affirm an individual identity— as well as provide much needed insight for a number of related fields. Realistically anything from marketing to humanitarianism. Specifically, as most transgender people report choosing their preferred behavioural and medical gender as opposed to the birth-assigned sex when prompted by anonymous surveys (i.e., choosing “woman” over transgender, specifically if they feel they have fully transitioned). While this could be viewed as totally appropriate (and generally is), it does little to help researchers and providers with an appropriate idea of how big the community actually is, which could realistically help to prevent marginalization. 

Still Tackling Issues

One of the biggest problems with ensuring that the community is seen and accounted for— specifically when it comes to census and scientific literature, is understanding how to adjust reporting verbiage so that the community feels as though they are appropriately recognized. However, this can be a much bigger problem than unfamiliar communities can imagine. Largely because it becomes difficult to define, even by those who are transgender. 

 

Mostly because the term in and of itself is poorly understood, and some believe, poorly representative. The transgender community indeed encompasses a wide spectrum of individuals with many different representations and interactions with the social construct of gender. For many, the term only represents the behaviour of expressing different gender characteristics than those you were born with, as opposed to identifying, but perhaps not expressing, with the opposite gender. More than that, most post-transition individuals will only identify as the cisgender that they have become. Which makes perfect sense, specifically as to avoid discrimination and fully crystallize their own identities, but does make it extremely difficult to provide the larger community with the services and recognition they so desperately need and genuinely deserve. 

 

Despite the understandable pushback to binary gender questions on most surveys, there has yet to be a good consensus on how to more appropriately word these types of questionnaires in a way that could shed better light on the community, and help a number of different organizations and aid groups provide better care and resources. Specifically in fields like trans healthcare and law. But not everyone in the community is comfortable with titles like “shemale porn” or “post-surgical trans female”, which means that better, more appropriately identifying terms that truly encompass the populations they are meant to represent are the first step into really embracing the trans community. Both in our daily lives, and theirs. 

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