A reply to “Dee” in WP article comment.

Original comment is here: http://www.transadvocate.com/tranny-an-evidence-based-review-2_n_13593.htm#comment-12576

Original thread is here: http://research.cristanwilliams.com/2012/01/16/tranny-an-evidence-based-review/

I like your opinion, Dee, but I must respectfully offer a few criticisms on a few key points:
1. Violence, by definition, has no “nomenclature.” Violence is not verbal. For those who say it is, the solution is simple: Grow a thicker skin.
2. While I certainly agree that some words have no place in polite conversation, I suppose that no conversation about oppression can BE polite. Oppression is rude, and talking about oppression is also rude. But so what? Without a dialog on oppression, it will continue, which is worse than rude; it is unjust.
3. The reason RP:DR was wrong to do what they did was not because it is/was provocative. It’s because it was perceived as a validation of such conduct by someone who is incorrectly associated with the trans* community. Ru Paul is a gay man; he is a performer, not a trans* person.
4. While I would agree we are making a mountain out of a molehill, that doesn’t discount the notion that a billion molehills make a mountain.
5. There comes a time when those who had to come together for defense or other strategic reasons find that the elements which originally united them are less; the landscape has changed and now it would be best if we went our separate ways. The gay community was never really on our side, and we were never on theirs. We just happened to be at the same bar in New York one night when the cops came by for one of their usual gay-bashing raids. Then my sisters rose as one and beat the crap out of them. Just really broke it off in their asses. Then the world started paying attention.
Unfortunately, what they paid attention to were many of the wrong issues. The liberation of the gay community was supposed to be our liberation, too. But when gays got to Washington and Wall Street, Hollywood was not far behind.
Strangely, somewhere between Stonewall and the Haight-Ashbury, we were left behind. Our contribution to equality was done, so we were cast aside. I see a pattern in that result which I have spotted in various misogynistic behavior where the boys (who were the vast majority of gay-identified people at the time) get what they need from the ladies (those brave shoe-wielding trannies) and split. Once we are out on our asses (8 of 10 state civil rights changes protecting sexuality notably excluded protection for trans* people) we were told not to complain so loudly because really, what did we expect? We are freaks and weirdos, “gay boys dressed as girls” at best, “men who think they’re women” at worst. We didn’t REALLY think we were along for the ride, did we?
It was our car, you bastards. It was our gas and it was our guts which got us out of the jungle together. Now that we glimpse triumph on the horizon, and you’re sure that your limp wrists can flap you that far, you lousy bastards throw us off our own damn train.
Keeping in mind that is directed solely at those gay-identified people who have expressed interest in separating (as opposed to merely distinguishing) our needs from theirs and excluding us from “their” anti-discrimination laws. Those turn-coats who think the warriors who carried their lazy, scared asses this far are just going to keep helping them despite their treatment of us.
All of the Sheila Jeffrey’s and Ru Paul’s of the world are simply men: They take what they want from those whose birthright it is in order to stand on it, screw it, exploit it and leach every dime out of it they can before there’s just nothing left.
The foregoing statement is an example of what I would call an inflammatory generalization. It throws a whole group of people into a barrel based on one statistic the personal significance of which varies from one person to the next. Some of the men in that barrel, for instance, would not belong there if taken individually.
The same thing applies to any struggle. Some of the issues on the trans* platform simply do not belong there. Two of them are which bathroom the “trannies” use. These subjects simply cast light away from the main theme of the trans* struggle right now: Not being in poverty and not being murdered/raped/robbed/beaten. Once we can clear those hurdles, it will be perhaps time to focus on the bathrooms and the trannies.

I had to re-post here because for some reason my post there is not showing up. Tried cache-clearing and many other tricks….I even hopped on my BackTrack v5r3 install to use the Kbrowser. Did not work. So for whatever reason, it doesn’t really matter, I had to post this here.

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2 Comments

  1. I think what has happened is that the Transadvocate has probably been receiving a lot of uncivilized remarks requiring stiffer filtering. I have had some of my replies also filtered but I figured out that it was because I was spelling out “shemale” for example and other words although merely quoting their use. Once I spelled out using ** then they went through. As you know WP has customization for screening comments.

    Oh, about “nomenclature”, I used it quite broadly synonymous with the “ingredients” of violence, which sadly is often accompanied by slur words, not unlike “parts” of a whole, whatever the object. I emphasize this because to all of us in the LGBT, specifically T here, words do matter, so much so that they incite violent phobia….the “faggot” slur to the gay community and the “tranny/shemale” slurs to us. You are correct, many say that we should just “ignore” slurs and brush them off. I say, wrong….violent words must be “policed” because they are an “ingredient” of violent behavior, historically.

    I am not sure what you mean regarding dialogue about oppression, but specifically I refer to words used in hateful ways against T persons…many of our gay brethren don’t seem to get that transphobic words must never be advocated or promoted…even if historically have been use “nicely”…outside of LGBT circles the same words are not considered “nice”.

    Understood that RPaul is a gay man…but for me what set an adversarial tone with the trans community was not that he used certain words to begin with but that when addressed he resisted all efforts to voluntarily empathize and cease from using them. His defensive and hostile posture, from my perspective is without excuse and is far from behavior I would expect from a trans ally. This is why I have been so critical of him. All became good until the horrible unfunny video was produced, verifying for me that he was no longer a trans ally, if he had been before.

    The “mountain out of a molehill” was a typo. I added a reply farther down that I meant to say “many say we are making a mountain out of a molehill. One thing about WP commenting is that it lacks editing after posting. You are correct about gay + trans history…..sexually we can never separate LGB from the T…..they are us and we are they, sexually. However, once the “sex” is over, T issues don’t end and this is where the LGB lose interest but where we need them the most. The primary reason I am so involved and fervent in commenting is knowing that the gay community’s successes could never have come about if they had not been loud and proud.

    As you say, the two most critical issues that are not LGB concerns are restroom access and name/ID updates. Without being able to use the restroom undisturbed or get documents updated, our life becomes a living hell with successive failures. I was on the bus today and saw a young man wearing a T-shirt that said “the Doors”….of course the band. It clarified to me my main point of contention with the RuPaul show and use of labels. Just as “the Doors” on the shirt didn’t refer to those things that must be pulled ajar, the RPauls use of “shemale” of course didn’t refer to us (initially apparently) as “he-men”. However, since the show is “open to the public” they don’t use this word to refer to females who have transitioned—it is used for porn stars or “other than real females” so to speak. Once RPaul’s pushback to our protests began and the disdainful video emerged, I now believe that RPaul knew exactly how awful the word “shemale” is outside of LGBT circles and simply didn’t care how we felt. For me, this is not behavior characteristic of trans allies, and more like trans enemies, at least in consequence.

    • Yes; It seems a portion of the LGB section is into lip-service to an ideal, rather than true advocacy.
      As with anything run primarily by men, the women must sit down and be quiet if we want to be “allowed” to tag along.
      RuPaul is just another arrogant man deciding he will define us for his own benefit.
      I wonder how his career is going now, about a year later?

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