SUNDAY, JULY 4
What is up with the way you write LGB-T??
I've had a couple of people ask me that, and I changed it up to the way you see it now. I know, in theory it's suppose to be all mushed together so that we all look like one happy family. Especially when those folks who want to deny us equality are glancing our way. But from what I can see, that doesn't hold in the mainstream movement.
I will grant that some organizations are pretty good at being intentional around issues of gender identity, and the class problems that usually go along with them. However, in the wake of ENDA's continued languishing in committee, the cap has lifted off to reveal some very ugly sentiments about trans folks and our place in the movement. A negative line of talk trying to paint us as latecomers holding the "rightful owners" of the movement back is being heard more and more, particularly in the gay male community. The truth of the matter is that gender variant people of all races, classes and sexual orientations have been visible in the struggle for a long time. Long before "more acceptable" folks crawled out of their closets and told us we were damaging "our" chances for getting full rights.
Even in Seattle, attempts at erasing trans folks are happening. A friend of mine attended a workshop on gay history. When he asked the presenter about trans people at the Stonewall uprising, he was told that there was no way of proving that trans people had actually been there. Why? Because everyone had been drinking! That sad attempt to invalidate trans lives tells me that we now overemphasize being acceptable to the detriment of having the right to be ourselves.
You know, there are a lot of issues with the Gospel of John. But there's something in it that might be relevant here. When the religious professionals asked Pilate to crucify Jesus, he asked the crowd why they were showing no loyalty to this man they had handed over to him. They told him "We have no king but Caesar!"
Basically, that meant that their relationship to the imperial power that gave them the sliver of civil rights they had was more important than saving a life. Even when that life belonged to one of their own.
I see this reflected in the mainstream, mostly white, hay male establishment that runs our movement organizations. They too, have "no king but Ceaser". In their sprint to erase this "last hurdle" to equality, there is no calling the American Empire to task for racism, sexism, class discrimination, transphobia, or any other of the laundry list of isms that also marginalize queer people.
This is why I write LGB-T the way I do. There has to be real, physical acknowledgement of this growing pushback against trans peoples place in liberation. Perhaps it's also a subconscious call to my fellow trans folks to push back by being more intentional about supporting each other. Spending our dollars at trans run businesses, sharing opportunities, and focusing on lifting our own community up while we let the gay people who have lost their minds around this issue work out their own salvation.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Posted by De Sube at 7/05/2010 11:45:00 AM