Gender diversity & identity in Queertopia – VPRO documentary

Some people say:
You keep adding new letters. Even if we have to go through the entire
alphabet to name everyone, we will. That’s inclusiveness. Dear passengers… We thought: Maybe we should
start an online platform… …where the three of us
will answer questions. The videos are aimed
at young trans people… …to offer them a perspective
of a possible future. But also the people around them. So we can provide answers
in a safe space and in the way we like. Instead of at the supermarket:
So you have a penis? When does a person become cisgender,
and what does it mean? ‘Cisgender’ means that you identify
with the sex you were assigned at birth. So your body matches how you feel. If you consciously identify as cisgender,
you know there are more options. You know that it’s not necessarily normal
or the only way. If you have a question
for one or all of us… …leave a comment
or send us a PM and we’ll reply. Higher?
– Yes. A lot of people consider it to be natural
that you’re born a certain way. You’re born a man or a woman,
and your body is proof of that. It’s not strange that we think that way,
because that’s what we’re taught. We learn it in school,
from a very early age. It’s how we’re raised and socialized.
At home, by family and people around us. On TV, we only see the heteronormative
image of men and women falling in love. So then it becomes a fact of nature. But when you look at the
historical context, it’s not a fact at all. It’s a construct. The problem is that for many
it has become the truth. So it takes some strength, discomfort
and effort to detach yourself from it. And action. Hi, I’m Chris.
I’m one of the three Transketeers. I’m a trans man, I was born a girl. So the expectations are: female body,
woman, feminine, likes men. For a long time
I tried to fit into that picture… …but when I took an honest look at myself
I knew I wasn’t that straight girl. I much more feel like a boy. We aim to make people move away
from rigid gender pigeonholing… …towards a spectrum view. I feel the binary a lot. I’m someone who tries to not care about it
and who actually likes to rebel against it. But at the gym, when I have to change
clothes I go to the women’s locker room. And every week, someone tells me
the gym also has a men’s locker room. Then I say:
Yes, I know. So those are unpleasant experiences. I won’t even start
about going to the bathroom… …because each time it’s a confrontation. People constantly ask me to categorize
myself as a man or a woman. From a very young age
I knew I wasn’t a woman. But I thought: Okay, if I’m not a woman,
I have to be a man. So I have to transition,
I have to tell my parents, take hormones… …and reduce the development
of my breasts. And then I thought: But I don’t know
if I really want to be a man. I had no idea there was something in
between. I simply thought I was crazy. To me, my body is very masculine
when I feel that way. And it’s feminine when I feel feminine.
It’s more about my intention. As a performer, I enjoy using my body
as a means of protest. Anything goes:
All colours, sizes and genders. That’s the story I want to tell
when I’m performing there in my thong. For me “queer” is an umbrella term
that includes my own identity. To me it means: not pigeonholing people. Not thinking in “normative behavior”. I identify as trans non-binary. I am transgender, and I do not see
myself as either male or female. Queer is something I share with a cis lesbian woman, who could also be queer. We can be part of the same community. Despite of our differences
we can fight for the same cause. What I like about the word queer is that it
makes you think outside your own label. To think: What else is important? Which other people are friends,
that I may have never met? People that fight for the same cause. Dear passengers, the intercity
to Amsterdam Central station… …departing time 12:08
will terminate at Zaandam. Hanne decided to go public
a few months before I did. I saw all those posts on Facebook
and thought: This is great, I want this too. Friends of mine had a boat at Pride
and I could join last minute. I thought:
This is the moment to do this. So I printed a T-shirt that said
‘I was intersex’ on the back. I didn’t dare to print it on the front.
But I joined the boat, and it was great. Then I put it on Facebook, and thought:
Now everybody knows. That’s it. People ask me very intimate questions,
like what my genitals look like. Every time I have to explain it,
because no one knows what it means. We never learned in school
about intersex. Doctors advised me to remove my testes
because they would become cancerous. Later research has shown
that this isn’t true. They were removed when I was 17… …so I’ll need hormone therapy
for the rest of my life. I was lucky, because
when I was 17 it was 2002. So they did tell me I was intersex. It was only in 2001 that the secrecy
protocol ended in the Netherlands. So if I had been born one or two years
earlier, I would have had surgery… …and they would have told my parents
but not me. Now at least they tell people
at some point. But they still advise you
to adjust as quickly as possible… …through normalizing treatments
and surgery… …but also psychological adjustment. Gender manipulation, things like that. It’s not warm here, you guys.
– That’s a porn set thing. What do you mean?
They do it on every movie set. You have two new tattoos.
– Something changed. Right above the edge of the pants. You want to see your belly button or not? I mainly want to see my chest hair.
– Then we’ll do it like this. Up until July 2014,
there was a Dutch law… …that said that if you wanted
to legally change your status… …from ‘F’ to ‘M’ or vice versa, you had
to go through the entire medical process. So that means hormone treatment
and sex reassignment surgery. And that you had to be sterilized, so you
wouldn’t be able to procreate anymore. That was a requirement to legally change
your sex, which I thought was bizarre. It’s a human rights violation that you have
to be sterilized in order to do something. Plus it didn’t work for me,
because I really wanted to have a child. At the time, people reacted in disbelief.
It was very complicated. I didn’t fit into the picture, which made
the process very heavy for me. So I decided to get a mastectomy
outside the VU MC. And to postpone my hormone treatment
until I had a child. And do you have one?
– Yes, now I do. Six months ago I gave birth,
so now I will start my hormone treatment. Now I’m allowed
to change my identity papers. But only after a psychologist’s approval,
which is a bit complicated. Now that I take hormones, I will do it. Not because I have to have
an ‘M’ on my documents… …but once I really start to look
and sound like a man… …the ‘F’ could cause a lot of confusion
when I travel. So it’s about safety. And because I really want my daughter
to see me as her daddy. Because that’s who I am
and what I identify as. But my documents will always say
I’m her mother, which feels very strange. ‘A couple of operations, and bam: You
have a penis. That’s really intense to me.’ First of all because it isn’t true. Only some sound things, and go for it.
– And remove the things you mentioned. You want to be part of something
because you want to feel safe. If you don’t follow the norm,
it often means you’re not safe. You’re positioned differently. For instance, you’re bullied at school
when you walk or talk the wrong way. People can tell if there’s something wrong
about your gender or sexual expression. And you’re punished for that. So it’s very hard
to be different from the norm. We know that one of the causes of death
for trans people is religion. So we also want to show a positive side
here in Amsterdam… …by remembering murdered trans people
in this church. We hope that this will send
a positive message. I’m standing here. My name is not on the list. I was lucky enough. For me, a Latina trans woman of colour,
the streets aren’t safe anymore. Can we learn
from non-Western societies? Yes, I think we can learn a lot. Especially about not naming,
categorizing or labelling things. The West is obsessed with labelling and
naming things, while you can just let it be. It’s oppressive
that I have to call myself a lesbian. And if I deviate from that, at some point
I’m not a lesbian and I’ll betray the label. But from a Curaçaoan
or Surinamese perspective… …you just do your thing
and no one talks about it. You live your life
and it doesn’t concern me. Isn’t that great? This is the Gay Krant
of December 2nd, 1989. It’s about writer Astrid Roemer. In this interview, she talks about… Let me see. …how she doesn’t want to label herself,
how she looks at homosexuality. I know this is a matter of vocabulary,
phrasing and personal opinion. I do not distance myself from lesbians, but emotionally i think differently about it. When you assign people
a sexual orientation… …you connect it to biological conditions. Then it’s innate, rigid. It quickly becomes
something pathological. But if you stress the relationships
based on choices people make… …because they are in love
or pursue a certain lifestyle… …it enters the sphere of life satisfaction… …as an essential need
of free, healthy people. You can’t say:
That’s innate, abnormal or pathological. I really feel her way of thinking. I feel it very strongly. I think it’s so cool she had
a debate with Audre Lorde. Who explicitly wanted to name herself. For me, the use of the label ‘queer’
is a form of protest, after ‘lesbian’. Naming ‘black’ and ‘queer’
signifies a certain emancipation to me. But to me, it’s not a label that’s so fixed
that I can’t step outside of it. At home, in my bed, I’m not black
and queer. I’m just Naomie. It’s only when I leave the house that I
become black, queer, woman, et cetera. Will we have millions of labels
or no labels at all? If millions of labels means
including everyone, of course. If no labels makes everybody happy, sure. So I don’t have the answer either. Some people say:
You keep adding new letters. Even if we have to go through the entire
alphabet to name everyone, we will. That’s inclusiveness.
It’s about taking people along.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Men who are appropriating the suffering of women by claiming to be women are still being patriarchal oppressors. Men have to stay in their lane

  2. Janaya Kahn is not part of Black Lives Matter. She has been resigned. Also, so many lesbians are pressured into calling themselves trans and mutilating themselves with surgery that it's an epidemic. This is total patriarchy. When they want to detransition, the trans movement shuns them. It's horrible.

  3. the person at 24:11 says it well.

    As for the rest, people will be people: focussed on their genitals and doing social engineers' bidding.

  4. whose product is the trans-gender ideology? what processes gave "birth" to that, and does it have a relationship with Karol Marx?

  5. Great documentary, VPRO. Thanks for supporting discussion and open mindedness!

    There's a lot of comments by people really concerned with what's in peoples pants, and the type of people whose pants they prefer to get with. Stick to your own underwear and what's down there, leave it the person to know what they want. No one is telling you what you want.
    And remember, science isn't static. Things we thought we knew 50 years turn out to be completely wrong.
    Just, enjoy who you are, and let others enjoy who they are.

  6. When genetic science doesn't meather.
    I can be an elephant now, just some attention seekers.
    When you have chickens, sometimes a rooster isn't looking like a good rooster, he looks week a bit like a female chicken,
    its just genetics that messed up.
    Look at the trans Swedish man they still behave like woman, they way they talk and move.

  7. Without the binary you cannot identify with the other. No binary, no man. No binary, no woman. These people aspire to the aesthetic ideal of the other, defined by the binary that nature imposes on us and which they readily identify with and reject simultaneously. This is why the woman pretending to be a man starts with “ hello people, you look beautiful”, it’s an aestheticism. The mutilation, a form of suffering in the name of an ideal. One could go as far as saying that it is in fact a type of worship of the binary, since in the act of suffering against the other, towards the aesthetic ideal, it actually confirms that ideal. They can never be male enough or female enough. The pursuit towards the ideal is never complete. When they realise that it is unattainable, suicide becomes their relief.

  8. It is determent by your genes chromosones, yeah gender is a fiction, biological sex meters.
    Thousand scientist signet it, I can already see the gender studies professors, meanwhile a biologist wasn't found there.
    But yes sometimes genes messed up. Good look to these people.

  9. its beautiful and powerful, so easy to understand what life means beyond the binary gender. there are so many possibilities ,its beautiful to co exist with them all. congratulations for this doc

  10. Lol this needs no comment. These people are intellectuallizing their insanity. And all those synthetic hormones will shorten these people’s lifespans

  11. “Why is it so confusing when gender is challenged?” Maybe because it makes zero sense to say you don’t have a gender but you still want sex…

  12. A very enlightening and informative documentary 👏🏾 I’m so happy to have the ability to learn about all different kinds of things… I’m so thankful to live in a time in which I can educate myself and learn…

  13. Good interviews! A lot of people are not on the level to be able to discuss this topic, leading to many misunderstandings (as seen in the comments). Eventually they'll understand what this is about.

  14. Lovely documentary! Made me cry and rejoice! Anyone who has left a hate comment obviously didn’t watch the entire thing, or at least didn’t do so with an open mind.

  15. There’s two genders. Anyone else claiming anything else is just a belief. The same type of belief that a Buddhist or Christian would have. It’s an ideology. And you are free to believe that, but just like with other beliefs. No one has to believe what you believe. Just because I don’t believe in Buddhism doesn’t mean I’m afraid or hate Buddhist. The same with this gender ideology. Just because I don’t believe in this gender theory. Doesn’t mean I’m afraid or hate you for believing in gender theory. You just can’t force me to believe what you believe. It’s not a matter of respect. I will always refer to a man as a man and a women as a women.

  16. I really think that in order to properly address this issue, you should show a number of sides when it comes to transition and detransition. VPRO does great work and I really want you guys to show your professionalism and non-biased reporting by talking about the women who's lives were ruined by transition. There are plenty of amazing videos about it.

  17. "identity should be our entry point into dialogue, but it shouldn't be our exit point. our exit point should be far more expansive the our binary identities, far more expansive than our binary understandings, and far more expansive than our genders or sexualities or our race. our exit point should be bound and united by a value system and a belief system that we're willing to fight for that doesn't require the subjugation of other people in order for me to feel free."

    and that's IT. what Janaya said? that's it – all of it.

  18. "In school we learned that a man is born with XY chromosomes and a woman with XX chromosomes,"
    In fact, that's an oversimplification that leaves out a couple of crucial steps in the middle. All being XX or XY actually does is determine whether you develop ovaries or testicles. Everything from that point forward depends on hormones. In the presence of testicular hormones (and assuming you can respond to those hormones), you'll develop as male. Otherwise you develop as female. That's why it's possible to have XY women and XX men, and people whose development has left them with a mixture of male and female characteristics.
    This dependence on hormones means that exposure to external hormones (or hormone mimicking chemicals) can cause the process of sexual development to go spectacularly wrong. Something I'm trying to bring wider public attention to, is that the medical use of hormones in pregnancy is no exception in that regard, and that there's plenty of us in the older age bracket who ended up gender blended through prenatal pharmaceutical hormone exposure.

  19. They're all so beautiful… you know i think this is great becasue I think Ive always thought of intersex etc as like an 'unfortunate' genetic anomaly: but with the media push on trans people Intersex people really do exist as an argument from an religious back ground that it really aint what about you got going on down in the never regions- but ones ability to connect as a spiritual being and the sexually the rest will just fall into place; sex is after all an expression of love, if its was soley procreation it wouldn't be so pleasurable!

  20. I really like this documentary. The only thing i don't get is the negativity against our western society. It's the only society where you actually can somehow live a free life as a queer person. Try the same in Iran, Afghanistan, India, Africa or let's say the whole Arab world. In some of these countries queer people would be killed in others they are seen as a totally different kind of human. Keep that in mind. The US, Canada, Europe, Austrialia….are all not perfect places. But i rather prefer living as a queer person in one of these places than in Asia, Africa or the Middle East.

  21. If you have a penis, you are a man.

    If you have a vagina, you are a woman.

    If you have both, you are a hermaphrodite.

    This isn't complicated people. It's not societies fault you were born an ugly ass man or ugly ass woman. Deal with it.

  22. Would love to hear people's thoughts on this. If a man is 50 years old biologically but one day decides to identify himself as a 5 year old, would you respect him and not be offensive?

  23. I came to this video with my judgment and ignorance and leave this video with a warm heart and understanding. Thank you.

  24. You can argue with nature all you want, but nature hates you, not man. You're not "told" anything. You're angry at god. You despicable freaks. As a gay man, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK ON MY BEHALF. You disgusting narcissist freaks. We have argued for 60 years that being gay is not a choice and then you come along and demand that yup it's all a choice! Fuck off! I don't want to destroy western civilization, I want to make freedom possible for everyone. You just want to be in the centre of attention. Until Islam throws you off a building. Then people will say "Why I had no idea!" Too busy putting makeup on you freaks.

  25. If intersectionality was correct, how can you want to be the other gender if gender doesn't exist? Stupid morons.

  26. You pathetic head cases are a pack of freaks that natural selection will deal with. Pffft, gender fuckwits.

  27. 2 sexes, 2 genders. The rest is lunacy. Disguise yourself into any creature you can imagine, but at the end of the day people will see you as a man or a woman. If you have gender dysphoria, which is regrettable, consult a pychiatrist. Polarity is what make everything work.

  28. This is great so many strong voices with interesting perspectives.
    I love that the intersex comunity is getting some love.

  29. Big difference between intersex and gender identity isn't there? i often seen intersex people complaining about trans using their condition to further their gender constructivist interests, not that trans people dont happen, its just gender is not socially constructed (not fully anyways).

    And science is not static, but the medical/biological/evolutionary evidence speaks lowder than the new "science" of sociology and gender studies, where standpoint theory is celebrated ffs.

  30. Sex is binary. You're either male or female. Nothing else. You either have xy chromosomes or xx. Nothing else. Believing something that's provably true is called delusional. You folks are delusional. That means you have mental illness. You can dress up like the opposite sex all you want. It doesn't change the plumbing. If there really is more than two genders, why haven't archeologists discovered other genders?

  31. As a non binary person this is a terrible documentary. Wonderful people being interviewed, vpro can go fuck themselves!!! We didn't all discover ourselves through activism, this is an innate part of our identities, and you increase bigotry against us by constantly reiterating the stereotypes against us!!! Everyone thinks we're some sort of conspiracy even though I was born this way! I hate every one of you for making this seem like some sort of hippie thing for cisgender people!

Related Post