Specifically, I am thinking about certain theoretical conversations that go on in the gendered community and people who identify as transgender UT do not pursue body modifications. As someone who got into a certain trans community identifying heavily as gendered and not at the time pursuing or showing a huge interest in body modification, there was a lot of frustration I had about accessing resources. First of all, people assumed that I was going to do medical transition when it was something I was still trying to make up my mind about, independent of other peoples opinions.
Second, people implicitly told me that they would only take me seriously as a woman identified person if did medical treatment, including certain feminists who managed women only spaces. There was also a frustration that many resources available for trans people was only about medical transition. The invisibility felt high and I was mad that the dominant representation of the trans community was of transsexuals, primarily transsexual women. I’ve since learned that there was something crucial was missing in my perspective.
While my frustration and sense of invisibility were very real, I think I misplaced anger on transsexual women for being dominant, when believe that transsexual women are often not in control of the visibility they receive. While before starting hormones and also passing, me being rearranged was sometimes interesting to people but to many it was also unremarkable, which was frustrating. Now I feel like everyone meet is really surprised to find out I’m a transsexual woman, and often they’ll have a ton of questions. They’ll either ask me if they’re not feeling too intimidated, or they’ll ask my friends.
I get asked to do interviews regularly by my college’s newspaper or research projects. I’m absolutely fascinating. It doesn’t help that I’m an artist and that through dance my body is always a spectacle. While before, my transgender identity could be overlooked, now its something that cost people have to come to terms with in one way or another. This hyper- visibility is one that shows how different I am from the rest of society and the many different ways don’t fit into legal and medical systems. Anytime have to do anything bureaucratic, I can see the person hesitate over what names and categories should be used for me. Onto really have a solid option of fitting into a box right now, even if it was one that misrepresented me. Think it’s important to recognize this hyper visibility as violent. I get touted to people routinely. I can see people not recognize as an entire person, but only e me as a transsexual woman. Transsexual women, particularly of color, are the ones who are recognized most often on the Day of Remembrance. Sure passing is an illusion, it’s a conditional consigner privilege, but it sure helps a lot of transsexual women survive.
So does explaining our genders in a binary way. I don’t believe my gender to be binary, but when I’m coming out to a straight CICS guy who is hitting on me, would much prefer to explain everything in binary terms and as a medical condition but it’s often the only way that they will begin to see it. In many ways, transsexual women who have en so marginalia by society don’t have the privilege of identifying in non- binary ways and being affirmed by our communities and allies. Can see this as something being frustrating for transgender communities to see.
I know transgender theory, and for the large part, think it tries to create a gender fantasy that isn’t the reality that many of us face. I still consider myself gendered, but I feel uncomfortable in gendered spaces bringing up the fact that have a real desire to pass as a CICS woman sometimes because of my safety or that I will often times explain myself in binaries terms o CICS people. I’ve always viewed gendered as more of a perspective, but I feel like many people get caught up in the idea trying to represent gendered through certain dress styles and dogmatic language uses.
In a lot of ways, gendered spaces are not designed to include the struggles of transsexuals. Things we face as transsexuals are Often directly against the dominant ideologies of gendered communities. So back to transsexual separatism… Definitely think there is a lot of work that needs to be done to make the representation of transgender people to not be just that of transsexuals. I also believe that transgender person that De-values trans woman should also learn to dissident’s from much of the transportation they portrayed in the media and Day of Remembrance.
The high rates of murder and violence are enacted on the trans* community evenly, but located primarily trans women of color. Tyranny jokes are about trans women. Think it’s interesting how there are certain transgender radicalism, who might have read a book or two on transgender theory or identify as post-gender, but cringe at seeing transgender women in their spaces or having a voice in the movement. From what I can see, transsexual separatism is an attempt to re-focus conversations and resources in trans communities back to helping transsexuals obtain legal and medical rights.
When the deaths of trans women of color are often martyred by transgender communities but still given the least amount of voice in transgender spaces, I do believe that something needs to change. The discrimination that transsexuals face is real, and any transgender person that argues passing is morally wrong has a ton of privilege that allows them to occupy that position. I believe that the most ender radical act a person can do, is to help those in the community that are discriminated the most. Also don’t believe that transsexual separatism is the the best tools we have.
I am thinking of Audrey Lord’s essay, “The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”. I don’t believe that separatism will accomplish the goals we want. While many transsexual people are rightfully angry that transgender spaces De-value their experiences, I think that there needs to be more conversations and acceptance Of various transgender identities. I think that instead of building a movement on the basis of separatism, we need to build collective understanding and support for one another.
We need to stop judging people’s experiences or the perspectives in which they understand it. College education in gender theory certainly affects the ways in which transgender people understand their own identity, but this shouldn’t stop us from forming alliances with others who have not had access to this and it certainly shouldn’t be cause for us to De-center them from our work as activists. Think that at a certain point we need to take a step back from the activism we partake in, and remind ourselves it is not about or for us as individuals but s communities.