Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Small Revelation

Today, I picked up my new eyeglasses. I really like the pair that I picked out. I think I look like a super sexy nerd. The German agrees. I can't find my camera, so I'll have to take a picture of them on tomorrow.

Earlier this evening, I witnessed and participated in a conversation (on Twitter) involving a trans woman talking about the cis community's systemic hatred for trans women. It was going really well for a while. The woman, Nueva Voz, was talking about how lesbian organizations show their disdain for trans women. She pointed out how there are no lesbian organizations that are headed by trans women, but these groups have no problem with putting trans men in prominent positions. A trans man was also a part of the conversation and reiterated what Nueva Voz said by explaining how lesbian organizations fetishize trans men as ultra-butch women, which automatically de-legitimizes the identity of trans women.

It was a powerful conversation. I was really into it, because it was one of those moments where some trans folks were talking candidly with cis people about how our society and the organizations within it marginalize them. The pain in their statements was really raw and cut me to the core. I've heard Nueva Voz talk about how organizations that claim to be LGBT groups really hate trans women and aid in their oppression, but I didn't really understand it until tonight. I mean, I knew she was speaking from experience, but I didn't really get how it was true. Then, all of a sudden someone else tweeted about how John Sinclaire was the first LGBT politician to win in today's elections in Georgia.

I didn't see anything problematic about that at first. However, Nueva Voz pointed out that Sinclaire might be the first LGB politician to win tonight, but he certainly wasn't a trans person. That comment kind of made it clear to me how the needs of trans people are assumed to be the same as those of cis lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Saying that Sinclaire was a LGBT politician only masks the fact that there were no trans people who were elected and there is no guarantee that Sinclaire has any intentions of addressing the marginalization of trans folks at the hands of cis people (both heterosexual and LGB). A victory for cis LGB folks is not necessarily a victory for trans women.


Ruth Moss said...

I remember someone, I think it was Helen (from Bird of Paradox) saying how she thought LGBT should really be G.. L........ B............................................... (t), and that really brought it home to me.

Kevin Andre Elliott said...

I followed that conversation as well. It was really eye opening. Some of the invective hurled back at Nueva Voz, though, made me want to hurl.