What new umbrella groups should we form in order to collectively fight the marginalization we face?

Even the most liberal of estimates suggest that transsexuals make up about 0.2% of the population; more conservative estimates suggest that we are far rarer than that.

Therefore, it is simply not possible for us to challenge deeply entrenched and institutionalized societal cissexism/transphobia without enlisting cissexual allies.

This was the second time that I had seen such a claim, and frankly, it surprised me.

Granted, in my book Whipping Girl, I argued that the transsexual experience is different from other transgender trajectories, and I also decried the manner in which some cissexual gays and lesbians appropriate transsexual identities.

This may be true, but this point has nothing to do with the rationale behind why trans people were initially included in the umbrella - specifically, because LGBT individuals are all discriminated against for similar reasons (i.e., because, in one way or another, we challenge the assumption that sex, gender and sexuality should all be perfectly aligned).

This is evident in the way that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are often targeted for discrimination for their gender nonconformity, and in the way that transsexuals are often targeted for discrimination because people fear that sleeping with us might “make them gay.” In other words, while sexual orientation and gender identity may be different things, homophobia and transphobia are very much intertwined.

Anyone who has ever been an activist for any social justice issue can tell you that minority groups, on their own, are never able to fully achieve the positive change they seek in the world without first forming alliances with those who do not share their experience.

This becomes even more crucial when the minority group in question is especially small.

So like I said, I have mostly avoided this debate because of the name calling, disparaging stereotypes and nonconsensual sexualization that are sometimes associated with it.