13 September 2009

I Thought I Was The Only Transgendered Libertarian!

Ed McGon asked me to post an essay Lew Rockwell rejected because he thought it might be "too advanced" for some readers. The only reason that I don't post it here is that I can't: It has been accepted for inclusion in a book of essays about liberty.

Briefly, in that essay, I mention that being transgendered and being a libertartian are inseperable for me. I no more want this government, or any other, to interfere with my right to be who I am than I want any other institution to do the same. If you don't have sovereignty over your own body and mind, how can you define yourself as "free?"

Also: I see one of my roles as an educator as helping people become more self-reliant. To me, it's contradictory, if not hypocritical, to embrace any philosophy that seeks to expand the role of government in people's lives. And I just happen to think that nearly all elected officials, whether they've got the D or the R attached to their names, or whatever else they choose to call themselves or other people call them, want to make the government larger and therefore more intrusive. Some want to do it by expanding social programs; others seek to accomplish this through making the military bigger and spreading it throughout the world. Sometimes I think Obama wants to do both.

I'm mentioning my political philosophy now because I had my bubble burst. You see, I thought I was the only person in the US (or possibly the world) who is both transgendered and openly libertarian. I've heard rumors that Ann Coulter was once a man, but I don't think of her as libertarian or even conservative, really. To me, her only defining principle is hate, and I think she tries to pose as more of a redneck (at least philosophically) than John Wayne because she's hiding something.

I just paid a visit to Facebook, something I've begun to do every now and again. Turns out that Andie, my roommate in Mount San Rafael describes herself as "libertarian".

OK...Some of you want to see a catfight, right? Well, since we're both libertarians--and somehow I think she's even more of a--or at least a better-- capitalist than I am, we'll claw and scratch only if you're willing to pay top dollar for the tickets! ;-)

But seriously...I don't want to scratch and claw: I just had my nails done!

Actually, what's even more dissonant from my political and economic philosophy than my gender identity and the way I express it is the milieu in which I work. In just about any English department in this country, most if not all of the faculty members are the sorts of Democrats who will continue to vote for Ted Kennedy even though he's gone. Nearly all of them support some version of the single-payer healthcare system and want to see government programs expanded. (Not the least of their reasons, I believe, is that so much of their research and other work depends on government largesse.)

To be fair, such is the condition not only in English departments. From what I've seen, the vast majority of faculty in every discipline save for business and related subjects shares a similar philosophy.

So...I had a plan to stir up all sorts of controversy and get myself book contracts, appearances on The View, etc. And now I find out that Andie shares what I always thought to be my claim to uniqueness.

And have you seen her photo? I'm supposed to compete with that? (Do I sound like Joan Rivers, or what?)

Oh well. Looks like I'll have to get by in this world with my charm(!), wit and erudition. And by glowing and being radiant and all of those other things people say I am but which I make absolutely no effort at being. I'm just enjoying my life and, well, I smile a lot, I guess. If people want to recognize me for that, I'll let Andie be the libertarian tranny or the libby transgender (The former sounds better, I think), if that's what she really wants. Then again, she hasn't said anything about that.

And if they ask me about my political philosophy, I'll just say, "Keep your laws off my body!"


EdMcGon said...

Is it appropriate to say "amen" to a non-religious post? :)

Joyce said...

Surely there must be room for more than one tranny libertarian :)

It *is* interesting how different identities tend to get bundled together, maybe because of past associations or maybe because of stereotypes. Like transsexuals and social medicine and ENDA, or like English professors, democrats, and progressivism. I myself am fiscally conservative (think Hayek and European liberalism) and socially libertarian (i.e. live and let live), but I get grief about not having a "consistent" identity: "shouldn't all transsexuals be feminists (or democrats or union-supporters or ENDA supporters or [insert stereotypical category here]?"

And yes, some categories seem to go great together because of historical circumstances. Blacks in the mid-60's, you would think, would be almost entirely in favor of Johnson's voting rights and civil rights laws, maybe not because of personal ideology, but because of their treatment as a class up to that point.

But I don't really see why a transsexual can't be a libertarian (or a librarian, for that matter, but that's a separate issue).

EdMcGon said...

Joyce, I would suspect that transsexuals would be more libertarian than liberal politically. What advantage do they gain from a socialist welfare state? The larger minorities would crowd out transsexuals from consideration from the state, and possibly even forcing them from receiving any benefits.

In the U.S., where you have to consider the heavily religious nature of the two largest minority groups (i.e. blacks and hispanics), the political pandering to these groups will outweigh transsexuals on the political favoritism list. The best a transsexual can hope for from liberalism is to have your civil rights recognized.

Frankly, I'd have to question the intelligence of a transsexual who thought liberalism would somehow help them. The only advantage for them would be as a counter to social conservatism. If those are the only two options in our society, we have BIG problems!

Hmmm...now that I think about it, we do. :(

Leigh-Anne said...

You might be interested in knowing I have also started a trans-libertarian blog. We are multiplying - OH no.


Justine Valinotti said...

Leigh-Anne: Thanks!