Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prop 8 Fight Rages On: What About Trans Women and Men?

Now while the fight for marriage equality for LGBTs doesn't directly affect me in my daily life it certainly bothers my sensibilities. One of the major arguments about the passage of Prop 8 in California is how it discriminates against a marginalized group. Who has determined the criteria for marginalization? There has also been this somewhat successful meme-stealing by linking Civil Rights for African-Americans to Marriage Rights for gays. As an African-American woman I cannot express my continued outrage over this!! Not to mention the fact it posits those LGBTs being discriminated against must only be white. I have intentionally used "gay", because it's a dirty little secret amongst the LGBT "community" that it is in fact as fractured as what we commonly refer to as the "Black community".

There is a well-documented history and current bias that gays and lesbians engage in by attacking members of the trans community. I honestly had no idea it was as prevalent and entrenched as it is. Why would I - it's not as if they're going to ADVERTISE it!! I've been reading Voz Latina blog hosted by a transwoman who has been educating me on the history of violence and oppression by gay and lesbian activists against trans men and women. *She asked that I remove her name from this post for security reasons. Even in attempting to dismantle the biases of people within the LGBT community, transwomen are under additional scrutiny and potential for harm. This is why when we speak of all the "isms" we must make sure to get ALL sides of the story and tell the WHOLE truth. Otherwise we're nothing short of an echo chamber that feeds our ego and point of view. 

So we should be asking who does it benefit stepping over transpeople when you are trying to get your "homo" agenda pushed ahead? Who's the "real" victim? There have been cases where transwomen have had to sue companies for the right to use the women's restroom. The latest is a Denny's restaurant case but there was an rather embarrassing kerfuffle at the Beverly Hills Hilton last year with a music producer who was ejected based on her masculine appearance. Since she showed her driver's license and identified herself as female that should have been the end of it, but she was humiliated for being "different". Yes even in LaLaLand! 

Now admittedly I've had to do double-takes from time to time with whom I've shared a public space with but I've also had to get a group of women to commandeer stalls designated for men when there weren't enough available for us to use - which is practically all the time. I don't think I'd deserve to be presumed guilty of some uncommitted offense just because I was a cis-gendered woman. 

So I've written a few posts about the unsolved assaults and murder of transwomen like Duanna Johnson as well as the ongoing fight for gender parity and racism. It's all the same thing that manifests itself differently. I suppose we'll never have utopia but I can't abide with hearing about how "wrong" it is for two LGBTs who want to be themselves and be together from a pseudo-religious person who's following "God". Especially when I know and THEY KNOW they were doing everything under the sun before Sunday service or sit in harsher judgment of people than the Almighty ever would. We have come far but we have a long way to go. So let's continue the good fight and check ourselves along the way to have a little slice of heaven in THIS life.

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PPR_Scribe said...

I may be unnaturally optimistic, but I think this setback is not nearly as big as some who are fighting for marriage equality are making it out to be.

But I agree with what you are implying here: After this fight is won there will still be many more to go with regard to LGBT freedoms. It may be easy to forget that the less privileged members of that community have many other priorities besides marriage. What the LGBT movement should take away from Black Civil Right struggles is how dangerous it is for more privileged members of a community to receive rights and benefits, then abandon the fight for others of our group who are not as fortunate.

Monica Roberts said...

The gay push for marriage has had negative blowback effects on transgender marriages.

Many of the anti-gay marriage amendments contain provisions that prohibit transgender people from marrying.

Khadija said...


I learned something new. A new (to me) word: "cis-gendered." Thank you. *Smile* I'm off to read the blogs you linked to in this post.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

PPR_Scribe: Some people are definitely going overboard with this and I bet they don't even know why!

Monica: So the question remains - what's happened to the voice of transwomen and men?

Khadija: Glad I could impart some new terminology.