The ‘True Trans’ Trope








Yesterday The National Post and various other outlets reported on Jessica Yaniv’s predictable yet dramatic arrest shortly after an online debate with transsexual Blaire White. The debate and ongoing drama made me want to raise again the big question:

‘What makes somebody ‘true trans’?’

Yaniv, who claims without irony to be ‘Canada’s version of Jazz Jennings’  is notorious for having not only an overactive imagination but an unhealthy interest in underage girls and their sanitary protection. Also known for making racist comments on and off social media, Yaniv is most famous for the ‘wax my balls’ case: attempting to sue several Canadian female beauticians who deal with only female clientelle for refusing to perform a ‘Brazillian’ on male genitalia.

See here, here, here and here. for more about this case.

Why the hell anyone would want someone to do that to them TBH is beyond me. As someone who has had their eyebrows done less than half a dozen times in their life, the idea of having the hair ripped off my vulva is both astonishing and petrifying, but there you go, each to her- or his- own.

I won’t delve too far into the ‘Yaniv Show’ here. You probably know about it already and if you don’t, Google is your friend. Yaniv is a notorious attention seeker and some would say that I’m pandering to his ego by writing about him at all.  They may be right. But bear with me.

Yaniv has leaped again into the public eye after the livestreamed online debate with White, who asked a lot of awkward questions which Yaniv made a complete mess of answering. Lying, blustering and improvising badly throughout, stopping at one point to boast of having pepper spray and to brandish a taser at the camera, it was hard to tell where the truth ended and the lies began.

The local police were evidently not impressed.

“About three minutes after (the broadcast ended) I have RCMP showing up at my door and putting me into cuffs…” Yaniv told the National Post, also claiming to have undergone a seizure at the time of arrest and to have been taken to hospital before the police station. How much of this is true, only time will tell.

Yaniv and taser

The Post Millenial observes that two stun guns, pepper spray, and bear spray were seized from Yaniv’s apartment, shortly after the live video dialogue with White.

WTF is bear spray? Do you spray it on your rubber underpants while you’re masturbating in the loos at work? I’m not sure I want to know.




White and Yaniv in dialogue on YouTube.

Yaniv may be deluded enough to claimHey Blaire White, I can look like Barbie too” (see pageant post above) but let’s be honest here, this is not the case.

So Yaniv debated with Blaire, not very well, and now social media is awash more than ever with people calling Yaniv fat, deluded and ugly.


Those of us who know men cannot magically ‘become’ women or somehow be born with an elusive and female essence misplaced into a male body, perhaps we underestimate how many people are unthinking advocates of the ‘true trans’ trope.

So, I ask you: if Yaniv was more articulate and had the money to reinvent ‘Jessica’, a gastric band, liposuction, a variety of surgeries and a more sophisticated taste in clothing, would the resulting ‘Jessica’ be any more of a woman?

The answer is no, of course not.

Womanhood is not a prize for being pretty, skinny or sane.

Yaniv is no more or less of a woman than any other transwoman. And there’s a very good reason for that.


Because men are not women.


So why are Josie & Joe Bloggs comfortable calling Karen White, Danielle Muscato and Jessica Yaniv ‘he’ (except in situations where they’re likely to be sued or have their social media accounts shut down) but can’t bring themselves to refer to Blaire White or Munroe Bergdorf by the correct pronouns for their sex? Why are blokes in obvious wigs or with beer bellies to be laughed at while the ‘pretty posse’ are to be humoured and revered?

The ‘true trans’ trope seems to be based on two standards.


Josie and Joe reckon that someone who misbehaves (for example, by acting creepy or crazy)  is clearly bonkers enough to erroneously believe they’re been born in the wrong body, and/or be capable of pretending they have genuine feelings of being born in the wrong body.

Josie and Joe believe they are ‘fake trans’ so it’s ok to mock and ‘misgender’ them.

The same people who are so quick to mock will also often hold the view that someone who behaves well (ie within the confines of moral or legal acceptance) really has been born in the wrong body, and/or would never pretend to have such feelings for personal or nefarious gain.

They are ‘true trans’ and Josie and Joe will be respectful and use their ‘preferred pronouns’ and be shocked when others do not do the same.

But being trans is not a prize for good behaviour.



Looking at this picture, we can all have a pretty good guess as to which woman is the ‘baddie’.

Secondly, we are conditioned to respond positively to things we find beautiful. While we all have our own standards of beauty, there are certain attributes that most of us find appealing, at least on a superficial level.

There are reasons why Snow White is portrayed as beautiful and ‘evil witches’ as ugly.

It’s the same reason I can’t walk past those ridiculous beanie babies with the ginormous eyes without wanting to take one home and love it forever.

While as individuals many of us are able to see beyond superficial beauty and appreciate its many different forms, as a species we are conditioned biologically and culturally to respond to certain types of beauty. We also respond to conformity, to ideas or objects that we recognise as ‘fitting’ because this gives us feelings of comfort and security.

While there are those to whom Blaire does not appeal and, possibly, those to whom Yaniv is the epitome of a sex bomb, the reality is that neither are women.  Josie and Joe are happy to go along with Blaire’s desire to be ‘treated like’ and addressed as a woman, but not with Jessica’s.

This is not just because Blaire is ‘cover girl’ pretty but also because Blaire doesn’t wish to show 12 year olds how to use tampons or attend topless swimming parties for pubescent kids.

But being trans is not a prize for good behaviour.

Who gets to decide who is true trans? Who draws that line and who decides who gets to skip over the line? 

Men cannot ‘become’ women by parodying womanhood. It makes no difference if they have a bushy beard or a 40DD cup size. There is no such thing as ‘true trans’, only people who wish they had been born the opposite sex so much that they are willing to try to fake it.

Of the men who feel this way, like any other men, some of them have good intentions; others don’t. Some of them are better at faking it than others.

None of them are women.

Remember, it isn’t hateful or bigoted to speak the truth.

More on ‘true trans’ from this blog in these pieces from 2018.

What makes somebody ‘real trans’? Part 1 – Adults

What makes somebody ‘real trans’? Part 2 – Kids





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Men in Make-Up – Rewriting History

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

George Orwell, 1984


In a stunningly Orwellian example of rewriting history, the Guardian has changed the photos accompanying Shon Faye’s 2014 ‘Men in Make-Up’ article.

In the piece, Shon (then Seán) praises the benefits of wearing make up, observing:

“Some strangers are so desperate to prove how totally, earth-movingly OK they are with a man wearing makeup, they’ll cross a room to tell you how great you look. And I’m not ashamed to admit this kind of cheap validation is wonderful.”

You can read the piece at the Grauniad’s website here: but if you have read it before you’ll notice something has changed. The photographs of Faye in rather fetching blue eye make up are gone – instead they are replaced with a photograph of Eddie Izzard in lippy and a pink beret and the  words “Eddie Izzard wearing red lipstick, and eye make up at a public event.” (Ouch, that comma.)


‘But why,‘ I hear you ask, laying down your copy of 1984, ‘has this memory hole been created?”

Well, Faye is now a woman, so we are told, and on a mission to remove any inferences to the contrary from the internet.

“The range of style options available to men is already woefully narrow.” wrote Faye at the time, expressing resentment that men were expected to pick their clothing ‘from a cupboard of identikit Zara shirts’ .

Reinvented as Shon, Faye finally felt able to sparkle in a variety of glitzy, skimpy items.

So the photos had to go, and are now only to be found where archived. This link, for example, will show the original photos but they disappear in a flash.  As the page has been archived over 40 times many other links, like this one (left) maintain the original photos.

Regular visitors to my blog will know that Shon- who is, after all a qualified lawyer, and clearly good at this stuff- persuaded WordPress to withdraw a black and white version of the photo on the far left from my article ‘Transwomen are Men  last year. The photograph was removed from my blog and replaced with a picture of a robot, and anywhere that I had used Shon’s ‘deadname’ it was replaced with the word [redacted] in no-nonsense block brackets. (Last year I also had to remove several tweets where I had ‘misgendered’ or ‘deadnamed’ Shon.)

I was not told of these changes to my blog but left to discover them for myself. Shortly after, my blog was closed down without warning, and eventually relocated here, where I now pay a monthly fee for my right to freedom of speech.

The new version of the article, with the Eddie Izzard photo, keeps the date of Faye’s original article: 6th December 2014. There is an especial irony in the fact that the Grauniad chose Eddie to replace Shon as its token ‘man in make-up‘ because Izzard now also claims to be transgender.

As recently as 2014 Eddie was proud to be ‘a man in a dress’, tweeting:

However, times have changed. Izzard no longer views himself as a man in a dress any more than Shon wishes to be perceived as a man in make up.

Just four of the recent articles where Izzard speaks about being trans.

In 2016 Izzard described himself in court as having been on the receiving end of years of abuse ‘as a transgender man‘, a confusing descriptor usually reserved for women who believe themselves to be men – as in the popular headline: ‘first transgender man to give birth‘.

Although he had previously described himself as a transvestite, in September 2017 Izzard told the Irish Times “I came out 32 years ago…  I like to think that I have kicked the trans door open, so there is more acceptance. I am straight transgender as well: this ‘wannabe lesbian’.”

Izzard’s take on what it means to be trans is, like his identity, ever-changing and extremely confusing, but over the last few years he has wholeheartedly embraced the transgender label, claiming on one occasion that he knew he was transgender aged 4.

So what will happen next? Will Izzard object to being the poster boy for Faye’s article? Will he be offended to be represented as a ‘man in make up’? Will they have to replace the picture of Izzard next? Who will get the job? Will there even be any men in make up left in another couple of years?

It seems unlikely Izzard will complain any time soon.  His 2015 tweet remains on Twitter. Unlike Faye and the Guardian, confusing as his narrative has become, he seems to have no desire to erase history.

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