Monday, November 14, 2011

Transphobia in the gay community

This woman has such a beautiful spirit. I really loved this interview and I wanted to share it with you guys today. It is always so refreshing to see people of color speak up about LGBTQIA issues. I feel that in the LGBTQIA community, transexuals and transgenders are often completely left out of the discussion. We need to reach out to ALL of our brothers and sisters, especially to the young people in our community who are trans or intersex. I know that as a bisexual, my needs are often ignored or ridiculed--but no population faces more persecution than trans people! Gays and straights alike share this erroneous view that transexuals are somehow "lower" on the Social Darwinistic Scale than others. Ugh! It makes me so angry to see this sort of disgusting behavior. But I am most angry when I see it from those in the gay community! 

I think a lot of what Tracee had to say is true in this video. There is a hierarchy in the gay community and it sort of goes like this:
1. Gay (white) men
2. Lesbian (white) women
3. And all the rest

If you're lumped in the "All the rest" category, you'll know. Just look at the lack of representation in gay rights groups/media. And even if you are accepted into a group, your presence there is merely "tolerated" and you're expected to shut up and let the "top tier folks" handle everything. I've faced a lot of "holier-than-thou" attitudes from many gays and lesbians for speaking out against them in regards to racism, sexism, religious intolerance, transphobia, and bisexual erasure that exists in our community.  We are in no way a "united"movement. And to pretend otherwise is just stupid. 

There is prejudice on all sides and I feel this needs to stop. If we hope to achieve full civil rights we can't keep marginalizing people. 



Sally Bibrary said...

I would argue that things are getting better, and the LGBTQIA groups are becoming more inclusive, but you're right - it's an uphill battle, and there are some people who don't recognize it as a fight worth pursuing.

I hate to say it, but part of the problem is with the trans community itself. There are some very vocal, very public activists who like to argue for a divide between sexuality and gender, arguing the two are not the same. It's true, they are two very different issues, but there is a lot of overlap - both in terms of community, and of prejudice.

Regardless, you're 100% correct - this needs to stop. It'd be nice if we didn't have to talk in terms of LGBTQIA . . . if variations in gender and sexuality were as commonplace as variations in hair colour, religion, or favourite baseball teams. Nice, but not realistic. As long as we're all marginalized, it makes sense to come together as a community and support one another. As one community, we have far greater numbers and a far greater influence.

Darrah Whitman Jones said...

I completely agree. A LABEL should not unite you. I also observe the hierarchy in the LGBTQIA and it irks me. The uniting component of being a minority should increase the amount of love that you have to share. It just goes to show that no matter what community or society one is lobbed in to, people still have a problem with accepting others who are different from them. It is something that we as a community of human beings needs to overcome. Acceptance is an issue in every single society. In majority populations AND in minority populations.

Also, being a member of any minority should not cause one to harbor animosity towards others. I understand oppression situations, however, I believe that in order to truly overcome and persevere through a prejudice, means to love everyone around you in an ultimate fight against the intolerance. It means accepting human beings in whatever form they are in and loving them regardless of their beliefs, actions or behaviors that associate them with a particular race or label.

A lot of elements go in to tolerance, but ultimately, I believe it is quite simple, as cliche as it sounds, loving those around you no matter what, is the only cure.

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