I think you are looking for ways to be offended. A chip on the shoulder doesn't help anyone understand anything. Since you don't have an answer to my question, it seems unnecessary for you to respond except to be snarky.
ETA: Yup, I'm ignorant of the whys and wherefores. That's why I ask questions. Thanks for being so nice about it, though.
Also, 2xy, I do understand that maybe you're making an effort to learn, so it's not that you're not allowed to ask questions out of genuine curiosity. But I think it's important to realize that it's easy for people to get offended when certain questions are asked, and especially when it seems you're trying to challenge trans peoples' identities and autonomy over their own bodies. Negative/under-exposed/indignant attitudes about trans people are rampant and harmful. Practicing sensitivity when asking questions is really important. So is being careful not to ask questions in a way that makes it seem as though people are wrong about their own marginalized, gender-transcendent identities.
Asking "what's the point" of a transitioning surgery can feel like you're insinuating that you feel there is no point, and that's a challenge to the reality of a trans-identity. It can make someone feel like you think you know better than they do about the choices that they're making about their bodies and their identities. The idea that a person's choice to transition surgically is not legitimate is oppressive and scary. There is a lot of violence surrounding cis-persons' perspectives on transitions. People can be, understandably, sensitive bout it.
I have many trans people in my family and community, and many of them have sadly suffered at length for the closed-mindedness of others. I also have a radically gender-deviant identity. So, I ask that people are open-minded and compassionate when they ask questions that they expect others to answer according to their experience.
I caution people to understand that this conversation is not hypothetical jibber-jabber. It's not about hype or "extremes". It applies, on a very intimate level, to my life and the lives of others on this thread. It applies to families. Please be kind and respectful.
Edited by habitat - 5/26/11 at 10:14am