Body Image, Queer Folk

Expanding On “Real”

I recently ranted quite a bit about the concept of “Real Women”. It quickly became one of my most-viewed posts, and after it hit the fan, it got me to thinking.
You see, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’m a lesbian. A member of the LGBT community, if you will. And within that “LGBT” there is still one group that gets judged, excluded, and generally shit on by the rest of them. (I won’t say “us”, because I don’t tolerate that kind of nonsense, so I obviously don’t take part in it.) Despite all the harsh judgement and inequalities that we face from the Far-Righties and Religious Extremists every single day, there are members of the community that think it’s cool to exclude others simply because they are “different”. I’m talking, of course, about the “T” in that LGBT sandwich. The transgendered community is constantly hassled. Backs are regularly turned on them, because they don’t fit some imaginary standard that we have placed upon ourselves. Even civil right’s organizations like the HRC have ousted them, which is about twenty different kinds of fucked up.

While writing my “Real Women” rage, I made sure to include transgendered women, because it’s the damn truth. Women that are born transgendered are just as real as you and I. But you see, some people disagree with me. (Probably the same assholes who think “real women have curves” and “only dogs like bones”.) These people say that transgendered women aren’t “real women” because they aren’t born into the bodies that match up with their gender identity. I actually overheard someone say that “A woman can’t really be a woman if she’s born with a penis.”
To that guy, and all the others like him, I say: fuck you.

Seriously. Fuck you, dude, because you are a bag of douche. No, you are multiple bags of douche. Making judgmental blanket statements about people that you know literally NOTHING about reserves you a special spot in the 7th Circle Of Hell.
So, you’re wondering how I reacted to hearing this? Well, as you can see, first I got mad. (A special thanks to my wonderful Italian temper, and my sassy aunt.)

After I was done spitting fire and blowing smoke out of my ears, I reached out to these women. Because even though they don’t have a damn thing to prove to jerks like that, they deserve a voice. So, I posted a question on, and a few lovely ladies over there were willing to give some answers to my question:

“What body image issues do you struggle with?”

Their answers ranged. Shoe size. Ribcage size. Hair texture. Inability to gain weight/too much weight. Lack of curves. Body dismorphiya. Too fat. Too skinny. Too tall. Too short.

Sound familiar?

That’s right, folks, transgendered women suffer from the same damn body image issues that cisgendered women suffer from. Shock. Awe. No shit. And do you know why that is? Because, despite their obvious struggles to overcome, they are no different then the rest of us. Regardless of the bodies that they were born into, these women still wake up in the morning and pick out what to wear. They still have bad hair days. They still have low-self esteem days, and days that they feel like a million bucks. They are women, just like the rest of us, and they are the group of women who could arguably be hurt the most by all that “Real Women” rubbish.

They already have the queer community telling them they aren’t “real”.
They already have the heterosexual community, which is sometimes drowning in ignorance, telling them they aren’t “real”.
And on top of all that, they have this “real women have curves” catchphrase telling them that they aren’t real, because sometimes, they don’t have curves.

This, ladies and germs, is why it is so important to crush this idea into a million itty bitty pieces. As a collective group, women need to stop the hating, labeling, scrutinizing, and stereotyping, because if we opened our eyes, we’d see exactly how damaging it is. It isn’t a matter of fat versus skinny anymore, because society has evolved past that. There are more than two different kinds of women, and thus there are more than two different kinds of women that can be hurt by the message behind the “real women” movement. (So seriously, cut that shit out.)

I will repeat it until I’m blue in the face: all women are real women.

I won’t admit to being an expert on the transgendered community. I don’t know the etiquette and I don’t know all of the terminology, but the fact of the matter is, I hold women’s issues very dear to my heart. Inclusivity makes the world go ’round, and I’ve had it up to HERE with one group or another being excluded because they don’t exhibit enough of this or that. And if I didn’t work hard to make sure that all women and their issues are included in my fight, then I’d be doing a half-assed job of it, wouldn’t I?


photo from

4 thoughts on “Expanding On “Real””

  1. the reason why transgendered and cisgendered women both suffer from body images is due to the ridiculous standards all women are subject to. and i wonder where that comes from?

    1. I’d wager the lack of media representation of all body types, for one. Everyone cries that it isn’t fair that we are inundated with these images, products, and ideals that are supposedly designed to turn us into these “perfect” specimens, and then when, for example, companies like h&m use a larger model, everyone has something to say about it. Is there really any winning?

  2. Thank you. I’m a member of the lgbT community and I know first hand of what you speak. The pain I regularly experience can be summed up in just one word, exclusion. I have as we call it total passing privileges
    and every where I go im a middle aged white women with a good job. but at times at the lgbT center I volunteer at. It seams im treated the opposite im in a very long term relationship a wonderful women but the other lesbians shun us both unless they don’t know us through the center which means they don’t know im trans. Good Lord help. But Thank you and Please continue the rage.

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