Transition from transgender to egalitarian homosexuality?

From William A. Percy
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> -----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht----- > Von: "Erwin Haeberle" <haeberlee@web.de> > Gesendet: 01.11.08 10:11:23 > An: dg4@nyu.edu, <jm-bailey@northwestern.edu> > Betreff: Re: Transition from transgender to egalitarian homosexuality?

> A propos age structured , gender structured and egalitarian patterns of homosexual behavior. > As I had said, I find the distinctions useful, but warn against their dogmatic and uncritical application. > Let s start with India and its hijras: > I was a close friend of the late (famous or infamous) Dr. X who, in his sixties, spent several years in India. He was sexually exclusively interested in very masculine male adults, preferably in their 40 s. Upon his arrival, he consulted a famous Indian sexologist and asked him about homosexual behavior in India. This great scientific authority assured him that there was no such thing as homosexuality in India, and that it was, in fact, completely unknown in his country. Dr. X then thanked him profusely for this information, left the consultation room, roamed the city and had sex with 5 different Indian men (all strangers) on the same day. In fact, as it turned out, while in India, Dr. X had more adult male sexual partners than at any other time of his life. As you can see in his diary, in India he once reached the figure of 1500 sex partners per year (i.e a daily average of about 3) . All of them were adult masculine strangers whom he met spontaneously, as was his habit: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/JUN_98.HTM Dr. X and his unique documentation of his sex life raise several questions about our convential scientific wisdom. For example, it calls into question the whole notion of homosexuality as a special condition. Dr. X always stayed away from all gay bars, gatherings, or neighborhoods. He maintained that it was always easier for him to score with straight men, preferably strangers, and his experience certainly bore him out. When he visited me in Berlin, he asked me explicity where the gay neighborhoods were, so that he could avoid them. As for India, he always recalled with fondness his practically unlimited opportunities for homosexual contact (all of it egalitarian ). In that respect, India remained his favorite country. I could go on, but will stop here for the time being. I just want to inject a little dose of reality into the hitherto all too ideological discussion.

EJH

Prof. Erwin J. Haeberle Founder and Director Archive for Sexology Humboldt University, Berlin http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/



Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----

Von: "David Greenberg" <dg4@nyu.edu> Gesendet: 01.11.08 01:00:17 An: jm-bailey@northwestern.edu Betreff: Re: Transition from transgender to egalitarian homosexuality?

Regarding the question Mike asks about the transition to egalitarian homosexuality: anthropologists who work in Oceania tell me that in places like Hawai'i and Tahiti, the transgender role persists, with those occupying this role sometimes finding employment as drag entertainers in nightclubs. In India, the hijras are an organized political presence. Some American Indians nowadays identify with the "two spirit" tradition (a term that now seems to be preferred to the older "berdache." Randolph Trumbach's book, SEX AND THE GENDER REVOLUTION (University of Chicago Press, 1998) deals with Enlightenment England, a period in which Trumbach sees a transition from age-differentiated patterns to gender-differentiated patterns as taking place. This is not the transition Mike asks about, but it may be of interest nonetheless. -David Greenberg, Sociology Department, New York University


Original Message -----

From: Michael Bailey <jm-bailey@northwestern.edu> Date: Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:46 pm Subject: Transition from transgender to egalitarian homosexuality? I first learned of these different types of male homosexual expression from David Greenberg (either here or from his book; I don't remember).

Egalitarian male homosexuality is what we primarily have in the west, with most (?) gay sex, and certainly most male-male sexual relationships occurring between two homosexually-oriented men, overtly masculine-ish. This contrasts with the situation in some non-western societies (e.g., the Samoan fa'afafine) in which an androphilic male takes a quasi-female identity and has sex with heterosexual men.

Questions: When societies become modernized and westernized, is there a transition from transgender to egalitarian male homosexuality? And if so, has anyone speculated why? (Is it just western influence?)


Michael Bailey jm-bailey@northwestern.edu

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