AS187: On Being Transgender, with Fiona

This week I’m joined by Fiona to talk about her life as a transgender person. Fiona came out within the past year and has had to overcome a lot of challenges along the way. Fiona talks about how people have reacted, or not reacted, and also how every day things like using a public restroom are incredibly stressful.

Also we discuss an incredibly ignorant article by Matt Walsh, which you can find here:

One thought on “AS187: On Being Transgender, with Fiona”

  1. Great discussion so far, I’m enjoying it!

    This isn’t directly related to the content but I thought you made an interesting comment right at the beginning when you were explaining why you felt that you needed two episodes to cover the interview. You said something to the effect of realising that you hadn’t had any transgender representation on the show and that was purely accidental with no ill intention at all, and I just thought that that was pretty much a great inoffensive way of describing privilege.

    Nobody is to blame, nobody is trying to hurt another person or group, and it’s just an unfortunate situation that arose from it having really never come up in the life of the podcast. It doesn’t mean you’ve “failed” somehow not to make your podcast as diverse as possible, and instead it’s just another case where minority groups can accidentally and inadvertently be overlooked through nobody’s fault. It’s awesome that you were able to get Fiona on the show though and have a discussion with her which is a great way of essentially ‘checking the privilege’ of the show.

    One point I did want to make was that Fiona said that she wasn’t sure if transgenderism was covered in medical textbooks but suggested gender dysphoria as a possible category. Although this is the category that is used to help provide financial and medical aid to trans* people, it’s not interchangeable with transgenderism (i.e. it isn’t the medical term for it).

    The entry on gender dysphoria in the DSM even explicitly makes it clear that gender nonconformity is not a disorder, and instead the disorder of gender dysphoria refers to the distress that they feel over their situation. There’s a similar entry for sexual orientation called “ego-dystonic sexual orientation disorder”, which isn’t a category which says that being gay is a mental disorder and instead states that the distress some people might feel about being gay (when they don’t want to be) can be a disorder that requires treatment.

    Looking forward to the second part – I’m interested to see whether you ask Fiona how she feels about Richard Dawkins’ recent tweet where he says that he calls transwomen ‘women’ out of “courtesy” for them. Would she agree that it’s simply being courteous to state a fact? Do I refer to you as a man out of courtesy for you?

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