A Trans-Pioneer Isn’t Completely Cool with Caitlyn Jenner

A growing chorus of those uncomfortable with Caitlyn Jenner as an untouchable transgender icon (John Waters recently proclaimed “Caitlyn’s a Republican, she’s on a reality show, and she’s a Kardashian. We can’t make fun of him or her?”) now includes Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. The English singer-songwriter — who fronted the industrial band Throbbing Gristle in the 1970s and the experimental band Psychic TV throughout the 80s and 90s — transitioned in 1993, along with his late wife Lady Jaye, to a non-gender-specific state, or pandrogyny, and ultimately one with each other.

In a fascinating one-hour interview for The Talkhouse, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge — who generally avoids using singular pronouns, preferring “we” and “our” — expounds on this unique and radical perspective, the belief that humankind will eventually “evolve into a unified being, not male or female, but both. The human body is not the person…The mind is the person.” If you’ve heard the expression “Transsexuals are the stormtroopers of the future,” know that Genesis Breyer P-Orridge coined it.

Inevitably, the topic of Caitlyn Jenner came up, about whom Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is mostly supportive, but with one very important caveat, basically: Don’t speak for the trans community…

“Apparently Caitlyn is already saying things like, ‘It’s so difficult being a woman and having to decide which designer gown to wear when you go out at night’ and who should do you hair and having to get your fingernails done all the time. That’s not being a woman, that’s being a glamorous Hollywood figure. That’s not how it is for most people. There are lots of teenage kids on the street in New York who are hustling and risking AIDS because they need to get money because they have to transition. They have to change and they’re prepared to risk their lives because it’s such a deep need, and they don’t have all that back-up system, all of that pandering, and all of that attention, and all of the safety net of money and so on. We realized that’s a valid point. It hadn’t crossed my mind. It is giving this very false impression of the ease with which you could decide to do it.”

“[A friend of mine said] a lot of people in the transsexual community are upset and say it’s not courageous when you have a bunker, which is a beautiful house in Malibu, to retire to in order to go through all the different stages, and you have more than enough money, without even thinking, to have everything you want straightaway.”

“We’re not saying Caitlyn isn’t courageous, in terms of the personal experience, but the way it’s being presented by the media could end up being really, really damaging. We saw the news and Caitlyn’s going, ‘I feel like I can be a spokesperson for the transgendered community.’ Then later on she says, ‘I actually don’t know any transsexuals.’ What the fuck, she’s going to be spokesperson? She hasn’t got a clue! She’s been living in her own bubble with her own issues, dealing with them, but she doesn’t understand what it’s like for the ladyboys in Bangkok, or the transsexuals in Japan, or what it’s like for people in Russia. She doesn’t know! Stop being a spokesperson. Go away and just do it, don’t make it into this big glamourous Hollywood do, because it camouflages all the suffering and the pain and the danger that the majority go through.”

Listen to the podcast in its entirety…

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