Trans men in Rejected Princesses

ninetimesthepain replied to your post “A few handicapped badasses”:

But if Charley Parkhurst is a man, you shouldn’t be calling him a princess…

Glad you mentioned this – I specifically listed him to test responses. It’s something I’ve had rattling around in my head for a while. I’m of two minds about it, would like y’all’s feedback.

Part of me – the part that’s winning – knows including a trans man like Charley in a collection of “princesses” would be disrespectful to his disposition and wishes. That he’s out of the bounds of this project.

The other part thinks, if children are going to see this (and I know many teachers and parents have already been selectively sharing it with their wards), could exposure to Charley’s story be in some way beneficial to an assigned-female-at-birth child out there who comes across RP? Would learning about that sort of precedent help someone in figuring out their identity?

I honestly don’t know. I’ve had Charley (and a couple other trans men) on my master list for a bit, unsure what to do with them, if anything. Just as many people have written in asking for me to do entries on trans men as have sent in urging me not to. Curious as to what y’all think. This is pretty damn far out of my wheelhouse.

(and if you’re curious as to the history of One Eyed Charley, missedinhistory did an excellent podcast on him, which you can find right here!)


misschienmaaltijd asked:

I think the real question is, are you going to include transgender women in the project?

Already have, at least by most definitions: see Osh-Tisch, Crow bate/two-spirit, whose entry I did last year. I plan to do more – someone suggested 18th century trans woman spy Chevalier d’Eon, which was a startling act of them reading my mind.

That said, determining definitively which historical figures would fall under a specific umbrella is often a bit tricky – even if the person did leave firsthand accounts of their own identity politics (which practically nobody did), said account doesn’t come from the same mental frameworks we use nowadays. Many people wrote in to suggest Elagabalus as a trans woman, but a light inspection indicated there may not be enough textual evidence to firmly support that claim.

As for the rest of the replies: thanks for the responses, and thanks for phrasing them politely. I think almost all of us agree it’s right to keep trans men off the main project, and maybe have a “Rejected Princes”-type spinoff at some point in the future. Thanks for the input!

13 Responses to “Trans men in Rejected Princesses”

  1. Amelie

    The Swedish thief Lasse-Maja (1785-1845) is straddling the gender designations too. Lasse-Maja lived as man and woman in different parts of his life. The English Wikipedia page wrongly tells that it was easier being a thief while read as woman, but Lasse-Maja actually wrote that it was harder in his (?) best-selling book. I think I should read the book, I can probably find it on the Internet. :-D

  2. Jason Porath

    Can’t read it, but found a bit in English on the subject – fascinating! Thank you. :D

  3. Ariella

    I think if they identified as female for most of their lives, or for a notable portion than they should be featured.

  4. v

    I think that since they identify as women, they should be included because the represent girl power as well as natural born girls.

  5. Skemono

    You may be thinking of trans women. Trans men are men who were assigned female at birth.

  6. Chabo Chook

    The point is, trans-men never identified as female. It is assigned to them at birth. Big difference. Now trans-women? That’s a whole different issue…

  7. eggs

    Of course, if you wanted, you could just use ‘princess’ as a gender neutral term. But that would require including cis men too, which kind goes against the point. I mean, as a dmab agender person, I much prefer ‘Princess’ to ‘Prince,’ but I could see how people could be offended by it…

  8. Ariella

    The thing is there were some people who were genderfluid and a lot of writing in period is ambiguous (dressed as or identified type of thing) unless someone kept a journal themselves.

  9. Jae Ackert

    Identifying as female is the important thing here, or identifying with feminine roles of the time, however exactly it comes out as we haven’t always had words or even concepts for the full spectrum of gender. If you want to do a transmen miniseries, and call them princes, I’d personally be interested in that. While transmen are men, they do face the unique issue of having others see them as women, especially I’m sure, in certain historical times and places. Seeing a man forced into a woman’s role is interesting and important to explore, whether this ends up being your writings or someone else’s.

  10. Jae Ackert

    Princex :3c

  11. RobinGoodfellow

    Funnily enough, I never thought of Charlie Parkhurst as a trans man – probably because the way they were initially presented to me was as one of the first women to vote in the United States. The majority of my knowledge comes from the novel ‘Riding Freedom’ and a few brief internet searches (and one or two conversations with a descendant, who I’d met at the Antiquarian Book Fair, but I don’t remember him telling me anything I didn’t already know. =/ He probably did tell me one thing, but I’ve since forgotten it, alas.) It’s interesting to think about – particularly because for the sake of clarity I think I often refer to them as Charlotte Parkhurst at one point or another in conversation.