Sunday, January 13, 2008

Watch Your Language You #%@&!

I wrote this back in Sap-timber, yet it is still just as relevant.
Calling us transgenders, disordered, retarded, morons, hysterical, freak shows, etc; calling trans*folk you disagree with trannies, men in dresses, pseudo-intellectuals, gay men (or women or lesbians if the trans*person is a guy), perpetuating stereotypes, "Tranny [Lastname]", hoping their transition goes horribly, speculating that their transition went horribly, etc.

Comparing the spending of time and money on bathrooms to supporting NAMBLA is so fucking wrong I have no words.
Telling us we aren't important and our struggles shouldn't make the news... yeah, getting murdered and arrested for using the bathroom totally isn't important. Fighting for our rights is always important and it should always be supported.
Not wanting to listen to bigoted speech is not silencing debate. When we tell off people for their obvious cissexism, like telling us to get to the back of the line or calling us freaks, it doesn't mean we can't take criticism or can't see other peoples' sides. It means that we won't take bigotry laying down and we won't accept hate.
By the way, I'm reposting this rant mostly because of the comments on several trans*-related articles on Queerty, a GLBT website. That's right, trans* people, queer people, and our allies were the ones saying this. Someone called Theresa Sparks "Tranny Sparks" because she returned her award to the HRC (btw Sparks, go girl!). A gay man called a trans*guy hysterical, the article about him struggling to use the men's room contrived, compared spending money on us to spending money on NAMBLA, as well as a host of other things. The actual article on the youtube video of a trans*woman getting trash thrown at her said, " A reader sent us this irksome, yet entertaining video of some British boys harassing an obviously delirious tranny, with this note attached..." Then some of the commenters went on to say she deserved to get attacked because of how she acted and how dare she go out in such a short skirt?! Several trans*women got into an argument on an article about Susan Stanton. A few Harry Benjamin Syndrome (HBS) women were calling my friend, because she doesn't want surgery and sometimes identifies as a shemale, a man and refusing to see her as a women; comparing her calling herself a woman to calling herself a turnip. My friend, retaliated by attacking one of the trans* woman's appearance.
Cissexism, transphobia, sexism, etc. are alive and well even among those who claim they are our allies; even among ourselves. This, I think, is what disheartens me the most. How divided we are. How quickly we judge. How ignorant of others' experiences and feelings. How hateful we can be.
I know I'm guilty too, we all are.

Can we stop using trans*, trans, transgender, gay, etc. as nouns?
You say blah blah blah a trans*person--not blah blah blah a trans*.
I am not a gay--I am a gay (or queer) person.
I am not a transgender--I am a transgender (or transgendered or trans*) person.

When talking about including or excluding trans*folk, can you, especially if you are yourself trans*(!!!), refer to cis* folk as just that--cissexed, cisgender, or cis*folk! If you don't like, don't know, or know that it would cause waaay more drama to do so, then at least call cis*folk "non-trans* folk".
When you talk about trans*women and women as two separate groups you reinforce the idea that trans*women aren't women (and you are a trans*woman!).

"Trans*folk/women are to cis*women as white folk are to black folk" fails as an analogy; find one that actually makes sense.

I have asked this before. What is the one experience or set of experiences that every cis*woman [everywhere of all backgrounds, races, class, nationalities, etc.] has had that no male-assigned person [anywhere of any class, race, nationality, etc.] has ever experienced?
What is this all-encompassing female experience?

PS: You automatically fail at life (-42 points) if you mention or talk about, in all seriousness, "Trans* Politics", "Trans* Agenda", "Trans* Lobby" or anything similar.