When I write about not being abusive to allies, I get told that I’m oppressing the marginalized and that allies should just sit down and shut up. And I wonder: when did verbal abuse in social justice become ok? When I write about not shaming those who can’t march, or call, or who can’t speak […]
I’ve been seeing a lot of my trans peers using the word “ally” as if it is a term of contempt, and this distresses me. It was my cisgender allies that literally kept me alive when I was seriously considering suicide early in my transition. My trans peers were basically telling me that I shouldn’t have been surprised at what was happening to me and some even insisting that I deserved what I was getting, as late transitioners are little more than sexual deviants.
Some trans persons are even asserting that all cisgender/non-trans people are inherently cissexist/transphobic and that this is a “chronic condition” for which there is no cure. To that, I must quote Benjamin “Yatzee” Croshaw: “What arbitrary silliness!” But unfortunately, this is a common theme among many of my peers who work for social justice. The idea of “presumed innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t exist in social justice anymore. It’s been replaced by “presumed guilty until proven innocent” with no chance of ever being proven innocent. What this basically says is that the circumstances of one’s birth predestines one’s social class. But those of us who have transitioned from one widely recognized gender to the other know this isn’t true. I used to get cis privilege, male privilege, and cis male privilege before my transition. I’ve since traded those privileges for misogyny, transmisogyny, and cissexism/transphobia. And that’s something that gets me in trouble with other trans women: admitting that I used to get privilege as being perceived as a man prior to living my true self. But admitting to these privileges is not erasing my trans-ness. Rather, it reinforces it. Hmm, that could be a whole other blog post.
But even those who have not transitioned, those who are comfortable in the genders they were assigned at their births, are not inherently cissexist. Have they benefited from cis privilege? Absolutely. But benefiting from cis privilege doesn’t make one cissexist. If such persons expected to be treated better than trans persons, if they expected trans persons to use gender-neutral facilities, then they’re being cissexist. But, I believe in “presumed innocent until proven guilty” even regarding social justice issues.
If other trans persons choose to hold their allies in contempt, they should feel free to do so. But in doing so, they should refrain from showering contempt on the allies of other trans persons. I choose not to alienate those who have helped me. That doesn’t make me a collaborator to the system. Rather, it make me a person who acknowledges the problems of the system while working to overturn that system with the help of those who benefit from said system. If this makes me a separatist as I won’t support the idea being privileged is the same as being an oppressor, then so be it.
And, Yes: there are those who benefit from the system who are willing to work to overturn it.
In memory of Jennifer Laude Sancta, the Filipina trans woman murdered by an American military serviceman who received a very light sentence. Bona Dea 2015 Hail Jennifer Laude Sancta! Hail Panpsyche, the MTF of the Tetrad++! Hail Antinoüs, Lord of the Beloved Dead!
It’s a little before 9:00 PM, Pacific Time, and I’m listening to music at my computer using YouTube. I’d thought of doing some more work on the third draft of my second novel, when the enormity of the Transgender Day of Remembrance suddenly hit me. I feel so fucking powerless in this world where the […]
I was wondering whether to actually post about this or not, but like it or not, I think I pretty much have to do so. I’m not exactly sure what caused this most recent transphobic crapstorm, but I suspect it was most likely the ugly defeat of the City of … Continue reading
CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER
I have written so much about being a transgender person in a
cissexist society that I feel it would be highly redundant for me to
make such a post for this series. After all, the more you run over a
dead cat the flatter it gets.
The fact is that the bulk of cissexism that I’ve encountered has been
accidental. Kaiser Permanente has a fantastic transgender clinic here
in the East Bay and the staff there recognizes persons with non-binary
gender identities or no gender identity (agender). But, their forms and
medical records still only acknowledge two sexes: female and male. This
becomes a problem for those men to need to be screen for things like
ovarian and cervical cancer as well as women who need to be screen for
both prostate and breast cancer. The intention isn’t to deny us
coverage, but it takes extra steps to secure these tests, procedures,
and treatments. This is cissexism, even if it isn’t intentional.
More intentional acts of cissexism included so-called transgender
bathroom bills and laws. Those are designed to exclude persons like
myself. And even in locales where such laws aren’t valid, there is
enough of a media circus that I am very uncomfortable in
gender-segregated facilities in spite of my identification stating quite
clearly that I’m female.
Some will turn to the Bible as a means of denying the validity of the
trans and gender expansive experiences, saying that God created only
male and female. Yet my bible clearly makes mention of eunuchs. That
would have been the word of the time for persons like me.
I could go on, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, but I’ll stop here. For now.
I’d like to join a gym again. I like working out. I get very little exercise right now, and weight machines and treadmills are a couple of the things that do work for me without causing damage (iffy tendons due to some unspecified variant of arthritis). I’d like to be … Continue reading
Tuesday I’m going to start writing about this little list of social justice topics. I was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion (which I have now fixed to the proper link) and created 30 days (because 30 days have September). True, this isn’t everything and I know there could have been way more topics […]
Murder, specifically of another trans woman of color. The SCOTUS ruling that the religious freedoms of some citizens are more important than the freedoms of other citizens, specifically in the employer-employee power dynamic. “Friends” agreeing with the SCOTUS. News that other employers are starting to demand that they be exempt from hiring marginalized gender, romantic, […]