Tag Archive | intersectionality

A response to Transgenderism and the Delicacy of Sexual Identities

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“I am a strong proponent of the idea that the T should be knocked off the LGBT acronym mainly because inclusion of the T promotes the idea among cis/straight lay peeps that sexual orientation and sexual identity are related.”

Lay people don’t think that because of an acronym. They think that because the psychological community used to say that trans women were really just super gay men, or had a paraphilia sexualizing themselves as women in order to explain lesbian trans women. It’s institutional, not because of an acronym. To the bigots, we’re all just queers anyway, so we might as well stick together. Especially since the origins of the gay rights movement were riots started mainly by qtpoc and trans women. Even if it has been subverted by the most privileged amongst us since then.

“I also feel that within the LGB community … wait no. The LG community …there is very little wiggle room when it comes to sexuality.”

We live in a cissexist and transmisogynist society. Why should that not affect them, just because they are queer? That’s a continuing battle that we have to fight all the time.

“Maintaining the “born this way” lifetime rigidity of a gay or lesbian sexuality is extremely important for lesbian and gay individuals to combat prejudice and bigotry. Drawing a parallel between the “innate” sexuality of a straight person and their own “innate” sexualities is also an important point of negotiation and education when it comes to having conversations with more closed-minded straight people.”

Born this way is a flawed argument anyway and should be discarded. It isn’t useful, and it doesn’t convince anyone. It isn’t an important point of negotiation. It’s lazy activism and useless sloganeering. It appeals to the naturalistic fallacy instead of arguing based on the merits of the fact that it isn’t actually wrong to be queer and that if someone thinks it is, then they have to show what harm it causes to non-queer people.

“As I happen upon more and more casual conversations where I hear lesbian and gay individuals deny the fluidity of sexuality, I see that in many ways the sexualities of bisexual and transgender people can be extremely challenging and even threatening to the lesbian and gay rights movement. If a bisexual can “change” from liking women to liking men, then can a gay person be changed? Can a lesbian? Are re-education camps onto something?”

As a bisexual/pansexual woman, I don’t change from liking women to men, I like them both. I might be fluid as to how attracted I am to differently gendered traits on any given day, but that isn’t any different from saying I would prefer scotch to beer or wine tonight, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like them all. And queers don’t need to be reeducated because we aren’t doing anything wrong. The born this way argument is the argument of “please don’t hurt us, we can’t help it. We’re bad but we didn’t choose to be bad.”

“I understand the fear that people with more fluid sexualities will undermine the gay rights movement. I really do.”
Why? If the gay rights movement is that fragile, it needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

“But I think it would behoove anyone to open their mind to the possible fluidity of their own sexuality.”

Why is this in contradiction to gay rights? It should be an argument for them. Yes, you too, Mx. heterosexual, might one day be attracted to someone who it isn’t “proper” to be attracted to.

“. Transgender MEN who might still identify as lesbian:
i once witnessed a lesbian tear into a trans*man for “kind of” still being a lesbian and for dating homosexual women. I know in my useful terms area i define lesbian as “a woman, trans or not, who is attracted to other women.” A trans* man, by definition, is not a woman. So is it okay for trans* men to date self-identified lesbians or bisexual women? To seek partners in lesbian spaces? Does this make him less trans?

In my opinion, that is the prerogative of the man in question. If he is okay with his girlfriend liking his vagina and identifying predominantly as lesbian while acknowledging room to be attracted to transmen as masculine entities, then that is his business. in many ways it is easier to find women who will want to have sex with you among communities where women are guaranteed to like vagina.”

Yeah, if someone sees herself as a lesbian and dates trans men, she doesn’t see her partner fully as a man. If a trans man is willing to put up with that cissexism, that is his prerogative, and doesn’t make him less trans. And non-monosexuals of any gender would be willing to date men and women, and some will date non-binary people as well. How is that in any way a contradiction. Oh, and plenty of lesbians date just women, trans and not, and don’t give a fuck what’s in your pants.

“maybe if cisgender lesbian and gay people would make that distinction between homo/hetero and straight/queer, those lesbians that feel comfortable dating transMEN MEN MEN as MEN not as WOMEN might feel more free to define themselves as homosexual women who have straight inclinations without being ostracized by other lesbians.”

This is taking that bullshit cissexist differentiation of sex and gender, which are both social constructs, and defending it instead of rejecting it, playing into the cissexist, heterosexist, transmisogynist tropes instead of working to destroy them and make society better. My body is not male. My sex is not male. I do not have male genitals. I am a woman. I have a penis (though I don’t usually call it that) but my arousal doesn’t work like a man’s. My body has changed through hormones, and my sexual responses are completely different from when I had testosterone running through my veins. My nipples and back are more responsive than my genitals. My orgasms are totally different. I have higher estrogen levels than cis women, and lower testosterone levels. I have tits. I have typical female fat distribution. My skin has changed. My scent has even changed. So exactly what percent of me is male again? How is my cis girlfriend who exclusively likes women, both trans and cis, in any way bisexual? Why are you calling me male? I’m a woman. My body is a woman’s body. My girlfriend is attracted to women. She isn’t bi. And implicit in your categorization of sexuality is the idea that trans people even want to use their genitals.

That being said, I do take issue with most sexuality identity labels. They are useful inasmuch as they help organize around issues of privilege and marginalization, less so in describing who you are actually attracted too. I have very specific likes and dislikes. The pool of people I’d consider dating is smaller than most people’s. But because I will date and fuck people of many different genders I’m considered pansexual, and most people think that this means I will have a larger amount of people I’m attracted to.

“My partner still identifies as straight, which does bother me sometimes – because in my head straight men date women, and i am not a woman. If there were room for cisgender people to, again, make that distinction, perhaps he would feel less like his sexuality was being undermined by my transition.”

The problem here is a misogynist, heterosexist, cissexist society, not that his sexuality is being undermined. Get rid of the toxic bullshit in society, and the issue goes away, instead of catering to the society to appease them. What you are willing to deal with in regards to your partner is no one’s business but your own, but please stop asking us to cater to the bigoted majority.

“4. Hormones change things. i’ve actually known a lot of people whose sexual identity changed during HRT. Most of the time it is transmen who were attracted EXCLUSIVELY to women pre-T and who, after starting HRT, have slept with/formed relationships with cis men.”

Yeah, sexuality can be very fluid. I know trans women who used to be bi who are now exclusively attracted to men. I also know trans women who used to consider themselves exclusively androphillic, who are now pansexual.

“While the mainstream “LGBT” rights movement is inundated with “accept yourself” messages that are absolutely valuable and important and necessary for young cisgender queer people, this does not ring true for transgender people.”

I disagree. We have to do a shitton to accept ourselves as trans in this cissexist transmisogynist society. We can’t just go along with society and hate ourselves for being transgender.

“When I came out to my family my father, a very non-normative man and a lifelong example to me of the many faces of masculinity, wrote me a letter about how great girls are and how i should accept myself for being female even if I’m not a “typical girl.” My dad, who I have seen cry more than my mom, who i an emotional man, who loves the ballet and hockey and has to lie to his coworkers about seeing the football game when he was really crying at King Lear with my mom, is able to accept himself as a man because he is cis.”

Ummmm, the reason you can’t accept yourself as a girl is because you aren’t one. If you tried to be a girl, that would be the opposite of accepting yourself. Stop playing into cissexist narratives.

“Just because our personal identies and journies involve more conscious decision and active change does not make our identies less legitimate.”

Quoted for Truth

“This is getting long so I’m going to crop it here. I am totally fine with cis- LGB people having their own rights movement,”

I’m not. I want all my movements to be intersectional. And a lot of trans people are LG and B.

“but they do not speak for transgender people. They barely understand us.”

Which is why they should listen to us, and let us speak for ourselves within their movements, instead of ignoring us.

“And for that reason, in the interest of respecting the cis- LGB experience,”

Stop catering to the cis majority.

“We can still advocate for our queer, yet cis-, allies while advocating for ourselves and making a sharp distinction between our needs and theirs.”

Which is why we need inclusive movements instead of to split off.

I really fucking hate assimilationist LG culture.

So, I decided to sit down and waste some time watching “the Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam.” I figured it would be bad, I mean no even token nod to the rest of the GSRM community, but this shit was fucking horrible. These folks are no more my people than Cis, Straight, Evangelical, hard line conservative Christians.

It started out with a transphobic joke. The first fucking line of the show. Well Y’all can go fuck yourselves right back. It was fucking terrible, misgendering and deadnaming someone, and appropriating “transition” all for the sake of a really shitty joke.

So much racism, bi-phobia, cissexism, and out right transphobia, as well as gay male misogyny. Don’t forget the classism, pro-militarism, and rape culture bullshit. Oh, and we can’t forget the gender role enforcement even within gay culture.

I’m sick of seeing any type of queer folks upholding this kyriarchical bullshit, but the Cis Gay and Lesbian scene has made an entire culture surrounding it. “We’re just like you, only we are attracted to the same sex.” Yeah, and fuck you too. Our entire overculture is toxic, and you want to reflect and be part of those power structures instead of tearing them down. You are not my family. And they will never want you. Call me when you wake the fuck up. We’ll be here waiting like we always have been.

Why intersectionality is necessary.

Because this isn’t an academic exercise.

Because this isn’t a game.

Because these issues affect real people, and if you don’t know how different oppressions interact, you can’t help.

Take feminism for example, if you’re a feminist, you want to make life better for women and others who are marginalized for gender, how can you do that if you don’t understand the way that race, class, sexuality, cis/trans status, ability/disability, and other axes of oppression modify the experience of gender based oppression?

Easy intersectionality fails to be aware of

Ok, let’s talk.

If you’re going to say x marginalized group is oppressing  y marginalized group, you are being prejudiced towards x marginalized group.

Example: if you say, “Black culture is homophobic.” You are being racist. The entire culture that we live in is heterosexist. Why would you single out black people other than racial prejudice?

However if you are a member of marginalized group a, and you say that your community needs to deal with it’s problems oppressing marginalized group b, then you are not being prejudiced towards group a. You are trying to fix problems within your community.

Example: If I say, as a trans woman, “we need to deal with the racism in the trans community.” I am not saying that all trans women are perpetuating racism, I am saying that we’ve got problems that need fixing. If someone who isn’t a trans woman says, “trans women are racist.” they are being transmisogynistic. The entire culture is racist. Why are they singling out trans women other than prejudice?

I may expand on these ideas later, but that’s all for now.

on the use of the word “Ally”

I’ll never call myself an ally to any of the groups I’m privileged over. Here’s why:

  1. It’s for the marginalized to say who is and is not an ally.
  2. I get to walk away from issues that don’t affect me. There is always that option, so anything I do regarding them is easier for me than for the marginalized.
  3. No matter how much effort I put into an issue, it isn’t enough.The oppression will still exist, and won’t directly affect me.
  4. No matter how hard I try, I will still occasionally fuck up.

Here’s why I don’t like it when people call themselves allies axes of marginalization that affect me:

  1. If you are an ally, I’ll be able to tell by your actions, not your self applied label.
  2. If you call yourself an ally, it’s easy to forget that you need to do the job to earn that.
  3. It still doesn’t mean that you understand what I’m going thru, and I can’t forget that.
  4. Some people seem to think that being an ally gives them a carte blanche for fuckups. It doesn’t.

So yeah, I really don’t care for the term ally as used by most people. And anyone who thinks that straight allies deserve a flag can go fuck themselves.

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Apparently, I’m a Misandrist. Explaining privilege.

I’ve been told that I hate men. Why? Because I want to see women get equal pay in the workplace. Because I want to see all genders equally represented in positions of power. Apparently I’m racist against white people, too. Why? Because I recognize that life is easier for me because I’m white. And life is fucking shitty and hard for me enough because I’m trans and bi. But I still don’t have to deal with all the shit that Trans women of color do.

Yes, If you are white life is easier for you. If you are straight, life is easier for you. If you are Cis, life is easier for you. If you are a man, life is easier for you. If you are currently able bodied, life is easier for you. If you do not have to deal with any mental issues, life is easier for you. If you have a binary gender, life is easier for you. Deal with it. This does not mean that you have nothing to contribute. This does not mean that sexism, femmephobia, and oppositional sexism. do not hurt you if you are a man.  This does not mean that I hate you. But it does mean that you do not have to deal with the things that I, and other actual marginalized people do.

It means that you may not see how something is oppressive because you don’t have to deal with it every day. I fucking had to write a goddamn post about it not being ok for someone to smack a woman on the ass without her consent in 2012. Because people still think that shit’s Ok. It means that if I say that something is transphobic, you should stop and think for a second before you start explaining to me how it isn’t. I admit that I could be wrong, but I have a much more intimate knowledge of the subject than someone who is cisgender.

This concept is called privilege.  We all have some. It doesn’t make you a bad person, but you need to be aware that some things make your life easier at the expense of others. That isn’t right, and we need to work to eliminate it from the system until equality is achieved. In regards to gender, this fight is called feminism. In regards to race, anti-racism.

If you say that you are against feminism, you are saying that you are against equality.

Transgender day of appropriation.

Stop putting glitter on a corpse and hoisting it up for your disco ball.

Every year, a shit ton of violence happens to trans people. The vast majority of this is directed at trans women of color. If you didn’t care about these people in life, then you have no right to mourn them and use them to further your organizations now that they’re dead. Hell, you shouldn’t even be reading about this from me, you should be listening to them.

The dead don’t care about being remembered; they’re dead. What are you doing for the living? Are your organizations doing anything at all for trans* people, or are we just a token? This is a great day for fundraising. Are you still going to continue to throw trans* issues under the bus? Are you going to continue to deny how race and gender plays a part in oppression? Or are you just going to throw a goddamn party, and forget about this until next year?

 

Edit for clarity: This post is not about positivity or ignoring the violence to trans people, especially trans women of color. It is about intersectionallity and appropriation.