Pride for Trans People

Pride for Trans People

Eurgh.

I really dislike Pride. Not because I don’t think we should have a time when we can be openly proud of who we are, but it’s gone from being a riot for rights to an over-commercialised party for the cis gays, and I just can’t be done with it.

Funnily enough, this puts me in a minority.

There are plenty of posts here about how difficult it is to be outwardly trans, so you can read them for that info, but this is more about being outwardly trans specifically at Pride.

Because the amount of stories of trans people being chased out of Pride by cis gays, AND CIS STRAIGHTS BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO BE THERE, really, really upset me.

The Stonewall Riots were started by trans women of colour. Who were then thrown under the bus by the cis gays because the “normal” cis straights thought trans people were “too perverted”.

Thinking about it also makes me very tired, because it’s the same shit over and over again, just this time given a huge price tag and made all shiny so the cis straights will approve.

I saw a brilliant tweet earlier that sums it up; “Now we hold Pride to prove to the cis straights that we won’t eat them”.

I am not here to make cis people feel comfortable at my expense. I am not here to include allies in a community they don’t respect.

I am not here for police at Pride when trans women are still murdered at a disproportionally high rate compared to the rest of society.

I am not here for Pride.

Advertisements
Identity Update

Identity Update

This is going to be a quick one.

I’m writing about this and not about other trans issues not because there haven’t been several on going things of late, but because a lot of them are in the starting stages and there’s not a lot of info available, and I just feel they would benefit from a more informed write up later.

So this: remember when I said I was a trans guy?

Yeah. Not so much.

I feel trans masculine is a better descriptor, but my actual gender lies somewhere in that huge gray space in the middle of the spectrum.

Real world implications? They pronoun please, and TheoJane for my name. Other than that? I’m the same goof I always was.

Yay for gender being fluid!

Sophie Labelle

Sophie Labelle

[TW transphobia, gas lighting, targeted harassment, nazis]

For those of you who don’t know who Sophie Labelle is, she is the wonderful artist and speaker behind Assigned Male, a comic about a young trans girl that covers many issues of gender and sexuality. You should absolutely check it out.

I’m writing about it now in the worst of circumstances: earlier this week Sophie’s online spaces were hacked and replaced with neo-nazi propaganda, her spaces besot with bigoted images misgendering and gaslighting her trans identity, and worst of all her real life address was posted on several hate forums, with physical threats very prominent.

Sophie has since confirmed via her personal page that she and her flatmate have been able to safely move elsewhere, and are looking into finding somewhere else to love more permanently. She also said that whilst some events have had to be cancelled due to safety concerns, they will be rearranged, and she is not going to stop doing what she does.

This is a horribly stark reminder of what happens to trans people, particularly trans women, on a daily basis. Thankfully Sophie is ok this time, but we can’t be complacent. We can’t sit back and let this continue.

In the short term, you can help Sophie out by supporting her Patreon and continuing to share the Assigned Male comics as she requested. In the long term, listen to trans women, learn from them, amplify their voices if safe, and normalise trans identity.

 

We can’t let the bastards win.

Tomboy vs. Trans

Tomboy vs. Trans

[TW TERFs, misgendering, medical abuse]

For context, this is what a TERF is. I put this here because they are the sort of people who write these articles and applaud them, and should be avoided.

This topic isn’t new, but there was an article (this article, if you can stomach reading it) circulating this week about how the rise of “tomboys” in media is making young girls “want to swap gender”.

FUCK RIGHT OFF WITH THIS BULLSHIT.

Let’s unpack a few things:

“Tomboy” in itself is a problematic term for a number of reasons:

  1. It makes everything about males yet again, which can be damaging for young girls.
  2. It links “butch” with “masculine”, which is a false connection. You can be butch without being masculine in any way. Ask any butch femme.
  3. It infantilises gender presentation, and implies that it is a presentation that young girls will grow out of and instead grow into stereotypical gender roles. THIS IS HARMFUL.
  4. It is also linked to sexuality stereotypes. For example, my sister has always presented in a butch way, and my parents used that as a reason to belittle her coming out as a lesbian. Just no.

The other highly problematic part of this article is the assumption that someone who presents “masculine” will want to transition. The wording in the article is gross, people don’t “choose” their gender, they transition to fit their true gender, but this is the nonsense we see constantly.

And from a personal point, this is absolutely an article attacking trans men, and whilst we absolutely don’t have anywhere near as shitty a time of it as trans women do, there is not a lot of information available for trans men. Seeing articles like this is going to scare a lot of young trans men into thinking they’re “deluded” or somehow “just butch lesbians”, and there is a lot of literature out there on the effects of suppressing gender identities on people’s mental health.

Also this whole thing is just bullshit: we trans and non-binary folks are finally seeing better representations of ourselves, and young trans people have access to more and more info about gender identity versus gender expression, about transitioning, and support networks I would have loved as a teen.

Yet someone who is head of the Gender Clinic in NHS England and SHOULD FUCKING WELL KNOW BETTER is publishing articles about how kids choose their gender and how they’re so easily influenced by media.

On a personal level this terrifies me because the number of known trans teen suicides is frighteningly high, and that’s only the ones we know were out. The impact normalising opinions like this about gender expression and identity is going to have is going to be devastating.

Trans people should be the ones writing on these topics. Please search out and read their words over this trash.

The Fascists Came For Me 

The Fascists Came For Me 

[TW transphobia, abuse, gaslighting]

I am aware that on the grand scale of things I am but a small fish in a very queer ocean, but apparently this last week I have done enough to get the attention of the fascists.

It started off with them posting pictures of me to each other’s twitter handles, then copying me in as they ridiculed my gender, my weight, my name, my mental health. And it was rather easy to block them in swift succession. Reported them too.

Then a bunch of them went to my YouTube and posted very boring comments on my poetry videos and the videos to go with blog posts on here, saying things about me being a “special snowflake” (their favourite term), and gaslighting what I was talking about.

They were blocked and reported too.

Then one told me they were working behind the scenes to find me and “touch” me irl. The silly part of me imagined this as some Spencer-alike running up to me in the street, putting a finger on my arm then Nazi-saluting their victory to their friends. But I know what they meant.

Luckily my info was easy to lock down, and nothing more seems to have come of it.

Until my friend told me there have been pictures of me posted on Reddit, with calls for information about my offline. Naturally when I reported this I got told there was no proof, so it’s still there.

This is the biggest problem: every single person I reported for transphobia, gaslighting, threatening me with actual physical violence is still online and planning attacks on other people with no repercussions.

The worst twitter does is ask someone to delete the tweet that was reported. Because that’s a punishment.

Like I said, I am a very small fish in a very large queer ocean, but if they can come for me so hard and in those numbers, I shudder to think what they’d do to someone with a bigger public image.

Keep your folks safe. 

Gender Neutral Passports

Gender Neutral Passports

[TW misgendering, transphobia]

So Gender Neutral Passports are in the news again, after Stonewall launched their new 5 year campaign, “A Vision for Change”.

So what does a gender neutral passport mean? In the simplest sense, it’s putting an X instead of male or female in the gender marker box. That’s literally it. Of course this has bigger implications, which I will go into in a minute, because in the most literal sense, it is a letter to indicate that the person in possession of the passport does not identify as male or female.

In a bigger sense, what does this mean?

It means that more identities could be acknowledged, which is important for self-esteem, because being outside the societal gender binary is a terrifying experience at the best of times. It also means that in cases of using passports as ID, as I know some people do, it will stop the bullshit of “Well, I don’t think you look like a girl” that I have seen shopkeepers use as an excuse not to serve someone.

It also means that, when travelling, border patrols in airports or ports will have to be more sensitive to travellers’ needs, which is always a good thing. We hear constantly about the institutional racism and sexism in these positions, and this change may finally force the authorities to properly address these issues.

It’s not going to solve all the problems: just because UK (and in my biased opinion more likely Scottish passports, because our government seems more open to having these conversations) passports will acknowledge and respect the identities of citizens doesn’t mean other countries will. Which means the UK government will have to step up and protect its citizens when they are travelling, which is going to be a fight all of its own.

It’s a messy issue, and it’s going to take a lot of work to get right. Be prepared for a lot about this in the news in the coming months, because those of us outside the binary are getting more vocal, and we’re damn sure we’re going to make our voices heard.

“Secret Trans”

“Secret Trans”

[TW transphobia, homophobia, abuse]

This feds into something larger, but I really want to talk about it here, because it is dangerous and damaging and really grinds my gears.

NOT ALL TRANSPHOBES ARE “SECRETLY TRANS”.

Not all homophobes are secretly gay, either.

This bugs me for a number of reasons:

First, it’s painting all trans people as horrible people, or people who are repressing shit and acting out. And that is absolutely not the case. It erases a lot of trans’ experiences, and also makes us trans folk look like we’re not firing on all cylinders.

Second, and here we go again, it’s not usually trans folk making these assertions. Again, I love my cis friends, but get back in your lane. You don’t get to label folk, that’s for them to decide, and again doing this to people defines trans folk by your definitions of what they should be. Don’t do it.

Thirdly, it’s dangerous. Because we are told repeatedly not to pay any notice to transphobic people, or homophobic people, that then gets passed on to trans folk. And we, and particularly Black Trans Women and Trans Women of Colour, ABSOLUTELY DESERVE TO BE LISTENED TO.

It also makes being trans seem like some dirty little secret we’re hiding away. and that we’re being deceptive if we’re not out to everyone. Every trans person has different experiences, and will come out at different times and in different ways. Labelling people as “secretly trans” disrupts these experiences, and makes it clear you are not a safe person to be out around.

DON’T DO IT.