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Sturasmussen.com

Sturasmussen.com

So, as many bloggers (Cosmodaddy, Bamboo Nation)have already written, Proposition 8 has passed. It’s officially sacred and sanctified for Elizabeth Taylor to marry eight times, and for Britney Spears to have a drunken Las Vegas wedding with an old friend; but not for a non-heterosexual couple in a loving and enduring relationship to achieve the union they wish. Hard to believe that the people have determined this in the same week that they have moved America so far forward by electing Barack Obama. Nevertheless, some interesting progress was made this week in Silverton, Oregon, where Stu Rasmussen has been elected as America’s first transgender mayor.

In this article, Rasmussen is termed a ‘transgender man’ and is referred to as ‘he’; now, normally, as every good gender rebel knows, a male-to-female transgendered or transsexual person, regardless of their decision to undergo hormone therapy or surgery, should be referred to with female pronouns. There is also the possibility of using gender neutral pronous; however, even though language has very slowly been evolving away from gender-restrictive terms since the eighteenth century, the use of ‘sie’, ‘hir’ and ‘xe’ might be counter-productive as it explodes the brains of those who still think baby boys should be swathed in blue and baby girls in pink.

Anyway; what’s interesting about Rasmussen is that he does not class himself as a transsexual woman, but rather refers to himself as ‘he’ and considers himself ‘a heterosexual male… [who likes] to look like a female.’ This would imply that he is a transvestite, but he does not follow the remit of transvestism defined by Magnus Hirschfield, who considered it a paraphilia. Arguably, images of male transvestites have become more prevalent in recent years, although they are usually restricted to comedy; the concept of female transvestism is still largely unknown, perhaps because there are less restrictions placed on female who wish to wear ‘male’ clothing, and so less likelihood that females will fetishise this taboo. The difference between everyday transvestism and sexually-motivated fetishistic transvestism is now more widely understood. Although Hirschfield acknowledged that transvestism and transgenderism or transsexualism were by no means mutually exclusive, Rasmussen, who has had breast implants, has certainly gone a step further than say, Eddie Izzard, who also identifies as male but enjoys wearing women’s clothing. It could have followed, therefore, that Rasmussen would be too much of an anomaly to be accepted by the voting public, as he is not a transsexual but a transgendered or gender variant person. Similar apprehensions might have been associated with, for instance, Thomas Beattie, who is arguably the world’s most well-known transsexual man but who made the decision to carry a child. And, although Beattie was not the world’s first pregnant ‘man’, he is one of only a small minority of male transsexuals who have carried children (the term ‘mothered’ is scarcely appropriate). Some of the negative reaction to Beattie seemed to suggest that it would perhaps be easier for the world to have more ‘conventional’ images of transgendered and transsexual men and women to follow, before embracing the vast spectrum of gender variance. However, the election of Stu Rasmussen proves that considerable progress, in this respect, is already being made.

And now, apologies in advance for a rant. But still, there are some dark crevices where the torch of enlightenment just doesn’t shine. The only other WordPress entry that I have yet found on Rasmussen is this one from the vile everything-phobic Calvinists 4 Conservatism blog, which is apparently dedicated to ‘Making Palin President’. At first, I assumed that this blog was a satirical joke, but reading through some of the previous entries, I have the depressing sense that actually it is very real indeed. If it’s a parody, it’s a very dedicated one. Of course, inevitably, the author has chosen to reinforce his disgust by quoting only the negative comments left on the original KGW News article, in the hope of proving that all America shares his bigotry. No mention is made whatsoever of Rasmussen’s intentions for the town, nor the fact that this marks his third election as Mayor. The sucess of one transgendered person is apparently sufficient to prove that ‘trannies are taking over’, and Rasmussen’s gender identity is apparently proof that he intends to install a ‘full scale brainwashing program’. The author also suggests that Rasmussen will be distracted from his duty by shopping for shoes, which is pretty funny for a blog supporting reverse-Robin Hood Palin, she of the grossly inflated head clothing budget. Isn’t there a regulation on WordPress against this hateful speech, especially when a blog suggests the revocation of female suffrage (which is also… pretty funny for a blog supporting Palin) and hopes that the town concerned will stone its governor? Of course, the real motivation behind this diatribe is that special strand of Christianity, the religion which loves everyone. Now, I want to point out that I hold no bigotry towards religion, or I would have no right to criticise anyone for their own prejudices. But this exclusivist, fundamental Christianity, I am glad to say I will never understand. How is it that we have all been made in God’s image, but yet Rasmussen and billions of others have slipped through the net, resembling neither Adam nor his rib? Oh… because we / they all support the ‘Dark Lord’, of course, and are condemned, in which case ‘Hell’ sounds a lot more fun than ‘Heaven’. But how do we know any more, in this world of infinite variance, who is damned and who is saved? Shut your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, all together now: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know. Because the Bible tells me so.’

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