Saturday, January 30, 2010 Transgender issues edition

Where do you stand on transgender issues?

Where do I stand? Transgender people are people. Their body, their choice. Why is this even an issue? Shouldn't it just be a given??

Why do people think they have a right to question, prod, investigate, interrogate, judge, or comment on the self of another?

My stand on transgender issues is the same stand I have on every other issue: this group [be the group trans folk, intersex folk, LGBQ folk, women, people of color, people with disabilities... or whoever else I'm forgetting] deserves the same rights and privileges as your average cis, white, able-bodied, heterosexual, upper-middle-class man.

How has your support of transgender issues evolved? by lilithvf1998

I don't think I can use the word "evolved" yet, since I've just recently become aware of transgender issues.

I was sittin' pretty in my limited cis world, completely ignorant that the word "cis" existed. I had heard of drag queens and transvestites, and I was vaguely aware that there were people who said they were "a man trapped in a woman's body" or "a woman trapped in a man's body." But that was over there, far away, so I didn't really need to think about that, did I?

Now that I'm thinking about it, the closest I probably came to thinking about transgender people was when I read Isabel Allende's EVA LUNA, where one of the characters was a trans woman who worked as a prostitute -- I can't remember any of the details (now I feel I need to re-read the book *goes to get it from the bookshelf, realizes it's EVA LUNA, not PAULA as she had originally typed), but the main character is a young girl who somehow is taken in by these misfits (as in, a human Island of Misfit Toys), and one of the people in the house is the trans woman. I can't remember if Allende refers to her as a he or a she, but I remember the character wearing women's clothes and plucking her facial hair so she wouldn't have stubble.

But other than that and the episode on Friends with Chandler's dad being played by Kathleen Turner (which I think is further evidence of how misinterpreted and misrepresented trans people are in the mainstream media -- they still refer to his dad as a gay man and drag queen, not a trans woman, even though Chandler's dad lives their life as a woman -- or am I missing something?) I didn't really, for lack of a better word, notice trans people nor was I aware of their issues.

I think I first followed @nueva_voz because of a Twitter chat on women of color; through her I became aware of trans women's issues and -- as shameful as it is to say, but I'll say it because it's true -- trans women became "real people" to me (as opposed to fictional characters who only appeared in the controlled environments of books and movies).

I still want to call myself a "feminist" because I want to keep believing what I originally understood feminism to be: a movement to end oppression, especially the oppression of women... ALL KINDS of women. I know the movement started with cis white (rich) able-bodied women fighting against sexism, but it has grown to include the fight(s) against racism, heterosexism, and classism (in most cases...?) and I still want to believe it is still growing to include the fight(s) against ableism and cissexism and all other -sims I'm still not aware of (or that I'm forgetting as I type this... I'll blame it on the cold).

But I know the reality is that too many "feminists" are either still ignorant of trans issues (as I was) or choose to not take the opportunities given to them to learn and educate themselves on those issues. Then there are some who are openly and actively transphobic and transmisogynistic, which I cannot even comprehend. Which makes me hesitant to attach myself to a movement that would willingly exclude and attack an entire population of women who need it the most.

All that to say... my support of transgender issues is still in the "Behold! An amoeba!" stage, but I hope I am slowly making progress toward evolving into a multi-celled organism.

1 comment:

  1. This was wonderful!!!! This FTM says Bravo You! If you would like to learn more about gay female to male transsexuals you can check out my youtube channel: There is also another great youtube channel that is a collaborative effort by the partners of FTM transgender men called TMatesFTM. Take care! xo/Warren