I’m nosy…I’m a gossip…I admit it. I wanna know what’s going on with that mysterious blogger who does so much for our community: Jack Molay. 2016 is turning out to be a tumultuous year so let’s get his perspective on things.
How do you feel about Brexit?
It is a disaster. I am not too worried about the economic difficulties this will cause the Brits, but I do mind that they are undermining a system that has kept Europe at peace since 1951.
I am afraid the economists have had too much sway in Europe. They reduced the European peace project to a narrative about free trade and interest rates. That was not why the EEC/EU was established. It was put up to stop 1500 years of senseless bloodshed, and it worked!
I am also very worried about the undercurrent of xenophobia and racism the Brexit has revealed in Britain. I am not saying that all leave-voters are racist, far from it, but I do think it was the fear of foreigners that tipped the scale.
I believe in people collaborating and learning from each other, and the EU has become an important arena for such learning. It is far from perfect. It is, in fact, dysfunctional in some areas, but it has given us a space where Europeans can meet and see that those at the other side of the fence are human just like you and me. You are less likely to go to war with people from your own tribe, than with “The Other”.
What feelings does Donald Trump inspire in you?
I am sorry to say this, because I am normally able to see the suffering human being behind any scary facade, but in the case of Trump, I feel disgust. I shouldn’t. It is not the Christian thing to do. And I know that these are the kind of feelings he tries to instill in others, but there you go: I see nothing redeeming in that guy.
And the same applies to the US as to the UK. I was aware of the rampant racism among white Americans, but that some 40 percent + of Americans are considering voting for a sexist, bigoted, incompetent, narcissist is beyond me.
I have actually studied the rise of fascism in Germany, and I see so many similarities that it scares me: The longing for a strong leader that takes away your burden of thinking for yourself, the emotional release that comes from being allowed to hate the “inferior”, and the insane idea that feelings can replace facts.
I am still optimistic, though. We must not forget the progress we have seen both in Europe and in the US as regards respect and understanding for minorities, including the LGBT community. The younger generations are far less prejudiced than the older ones. And we should also keep in mind that a majority of Americans do not support Trump. This also applies to what I would call real Conservatives.
What is ISIS?
There are people who are unable to feel empathy with the suffering of others. In this way they are malfunctioning human beings. Such people become very dangerous if they have the intelligence and the resources needed to make a difference.
Even if they do not feel for others, they may have the intellect needed to manipulate the feelings of others, and especially the sexual frustration of men and women, their fears, and their natural need to feel wanted and important.
ISIS is an organization run by sociopaths who are able to harness the frustration of testosterone-driven, young men. These are men and boys who — for various reasons — are incapable of handling the complexity of life. They are looking for permission to give in to their basest instincts, and ISIS not only gives them permission; they give them opportunity, including guns, bombs and female sex slaves.
Poverty and war give a partial explanation for this, but we have to keep in mind that most poor people are decent people, (as are the great majority of muslims). There is more to this than economics.
Sometimes I think we have gone to far towards rationalizing the evil in man. Some people are truly evil, or at least too stupid to be able to stop the darkness that lives in all of us.
Now let’s move to more familiar territory. I’m a little confused over timelines. If you don’t mind talking about it…when did you come out to your wife and how is everything on the domestic front?
My wife has actually written a blog post about how I came out to her, by accident, back in 2014. I was in a very bad spot at the time, indeed, having had to live this double life out of fear of losing her.
It might be that I subconsciously used the wrong twitter account on purpose (which was how she found out). I don’t know. In any case, we are good. Actually, our life together is much better than it used to be. I am still gender dysphoric, and I know that it cannot be that easy to live with me at times. But she has her own struggles and we are there for each other. That helps. A lot!
How has your philosophy on transgender issues changed over the last 12 months?
It is constantly being refined, and I am learning a lot from people like you, Sandra and our good friends over at Crossdream Life. But I can’t say it has changed radically during the last 12 months or so. It could be that I am suffering from some kind of intellectual lock-in, but I hope not.
I am trying to reconcile two different trajectories these days.
On the one hand I am convinced that my own crossdreaming is just a symptom of me being transgender. or even transsexual. My own intense gender dysphoria tells me as much, and it seems to me that you have come to the same conclusion regarding your own life.
At the same time I have also become even more aware of the role sexual desire plays in how this transgender condition plays out.
I know that we need to keep sexuality and gender apart when we discuss transgender lives and identities, because gender identities cannot be reduced to sexuality. This applies to both transgender and non-transgender people.
At the same time I find it increasingly meaningless to decouple sex (as in sexuality) from sex (as in sex and gender). Like you, I refuse to accept that this has nothing to do with biology or the animal side of being human.
I know that this is not really a paradox, given that both sexuality and gender identity are end products of complex interactions between a lot of factors… genes, hormones, imprinting, life experiences, language, culture etc. etc. But saying so does not make me any wiser, even if I know it is true.
So, during the last 12 months I have become even more aware of the need to reconcile our ideas about sexual desire with the idea about gender identity, and I suspect that this requires more than new facts. We probably have to rewrite our whole belief system and the concepts we use to interpret the world. I don’t think I am up to that, but what you have written during the last year or so has definitely made me think about it.
Will you come and live here in Barcelona and help me build an ideal community?
Oh yes, let us do that!
Tell us about a person/something that’s really making you happy right now.
I have a news blog on Tumblr with close to 7000 followers, most of them young people.
Tumblr has a lot millenials and generation Z’s on board. Many of them are struggling hard, for sure, and many are also attacked by transphobic and homophobic people. But most of them refuse to play by the rules of traditional gender stereotypes.
Fewer and fewer of them believe in the idea that there are two types of transgender people: the perfect transsexual and the creepy crossdresser. Instead they argue for diversity and the necessity to accept and respect different kinds of gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations.
Even though many of them are severely gender dysphoric and others are content with crossdressing, they do not use words like transsexual or crossdresser. This can be a bit baffling for someone who has grown up with dichotomies like “transvestite”vs “drag queen” vs “classic transsexual”, but it makes perfect sense of people who think outside the various binaries.
What is a sissy?
A sissy is a male to female crossdreamer who uses gender stereotypes to get off sexually. These stereotypes are often sexist and misogynistic (like in fantasies of being a stupid, big breasted, bimbo taken by a big, brutal, dominant man) and the terminology stigmatizing (“faggot”, “sissy”), but I stick to the premise that we have to distinguish between the sexual fantasies of people and their real life attitudes.
Lilly O’Donnel wrote an interesting article over at the Guardian last month, where she argued that feminist porn can free women from shame, and that there is nothing wrong in having rape fantasies, as long as we stress the fact that they are fantasies.
So I am not going to condemn crossdreamers from having sissy fantasies. I have had similar fantasies myself.
We have to stare our fantasies straight in the eye; that is the only way we can integrate this side of ourselves into our whole personality, and I believe we have to do that, if we want to be happy. Sexual fantasies are in themselves neither good nor bad. They just are. But they demand to be heard.
Even if many sissies are perfectly aware of this distinction, I am afraid some of them have internalized some seriously messy attitudes towards women and gay men. It is tragic that we live in a culture that causes crossdreamers and male to female transgender people to couple the idea of being a woman with the idea of being a submissive, emasculated and failed man.
I do not think sexual submissiveness is a cultural construct. It is quite natural drive and we should stop being ashamed of that kind of sexual desire. But the fact that it is natural also means that it makes no sense to think of it as a sign of being inferior.
I am sure many sissy enthusiasts tell the truth when they say that these fantasies reflect nothing but an innocent sexual kink. But I also know that many of them are struggling with severe gender dysphoria. We should not — no, must not — exclude them from the broader transgender and genderqueer community.
Has gender dysphoria ever made you cry?
Unfortunately, no. I wish it had, because that would probably help me a lot, emotionally.
I know, intellectually, that there is still a part of me that dare not feel all the feelings that follow from my gender dysphoria. There is still a part of me that believes I would not be able to take it. There is still a part of me that clings to the commandment: “Boys don’t cry!” even if I am not a man on the inside.
I have still a lot of work to do.
The more I think about this, the more depressing I find the fact that culture has done so much to deny us and me the right to live as who we are. That is another good reason for fighting the good cause!
Thanks, Jack xxxxx