Saturday, November 24, 2007

Natural Allies

Lisa has a great list of links over at Questioning Transphobia right now. One of them is to an article called Trans liberation and disability liberation: a necessary alliance. In that post, Shiva says everything that I've tried to express except with a much better vocabulary and a lot more eloquence. It makes me feel hopeful about the future when I see other people with disabilities writing on this topic.

More than people of color (as a class) or women or any other marginalized group, the struggles of transgendered people seem most like my experiences as a person with disabilities. Both groups bear the brunt of society's cure mentality and both can be found in virtually every other category of people you can create. We are lesbian, gay, het, queer, black, Latino, Asian, white, Native American, rich, middle-class, poor, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, and yet, our needs are often ignored even by those who profess to be interested in social justice.

I'm curious about what can be done to further ally-work between people with disabilities and transgendered people.


Lisa Harney said...

I've been meaning to post about this, especially given that part of the reason I started blogging was that I learned a lot about how to describe oppression from reading Amanda Baggs' blog - seeing how many of the experiences she describes were almost word for word identical to experiences I've had got me to read every post in her blog.

She's not the only one, but the stuff she wrote was so powerful it had a hold on me. Then I got into talking about it with Shiva on Screw Bronze! because he brought the subject up as well, and I was surprised to see exactly the same thing I was thinking coming from someone on the other side of the fence, so to speak.

I do believe that trans*ism has a lot in common with disability, and I think that we deal with very similar issues.

I also think that trans activism needs more explicit allies than the GLBT movement.

cripchick said...

shiva is the best. there is tremendous untapped power that lies behind the potential of a queer disability community alliance. if you get a chance, pick up Exile and Pride by Eli Clare! shiva recommended it to me and it covers disability and queer identity and how they intersect.