I haven’t posted in some time. I have a number of posts almost ready to publish, but it seems that something always comes up and they don’t get posted. And now it looks as though I won’t be posting for a while. 😦
I’ve been called “cis scum.” That hurts. I’ve been that told I have no clue and could never possibly understand what it means or feels like to be trans. And while that’s true, I do know what it’s like to be unhappy with and uncomfortable in one’s own body, I do know what it’s like not to conform to society’s gender expectations and face the social consequences for acting accordingly, I do know what it’s like to be “on the outside, looking in” and never fitting in, and yes, I’ve done the “imagine-one-day-waking-up-and-discovering-you-had-a-penis” exercise and FFS, I’d cut the f’ing thing off. But today I was accused of trans appropriation and because of that, I am taking a break from writing this blog.
“Cultural appropriation is the adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation. From a social justice standpoint, the word appropriation is used to describe “instances where a dominant and/or majority group takes up some tangible or intangible aspect of a marginalized and/or minority community,” and is discussed at length in “Considering Trans and Queer Appropriation” in the TransAdvocate. Infact, the TransAdvocate is an overall excellent source of information regarding trans issues. They’re also on Facebook.
I do not exploit people. I have no ulterior motives or sinister intentions in writing this blog. I am disabled, have almost no energy and most of what little energy I have goes into advocating for LGBT people on Facebook with an emphasis on the “T.” I have absolutely nothing to gain from advocating for people, except for maybe a small feeling of usefulness to the world, once every now and then (I have felt like a pathetic, useless waste of DNA since I became disabled and unable to work 7+ years ago.) Most cis people do not go to trans “places” online. I do. So I take what I learn to cis people. Cis people have read my blog. Trans people have thanked me for writing it. Cis people have thanked me too—for clarifying and answering questions that they did not want to ask for fear of offending.
The Onus of Creating Trans* Acceptance Does Not Lie on Trans* People. That is a statement, the title of a blog entry in Genderwork and a link to that blog entry. Read it. What the statement means is that it is not the responsibility of trans people to fight for acceptance of trans people: It is the responsibility of cisgender people to accept trans people. I accept trans people but not all cis people do. I consider it my responsibility to do whatever I can to change this. I acknowledge my cis privilege and I am trying to use that privilege for good—not for evil. I fail to see how this can possibly be perceived as a bad thing.
All I did was to ask for permission from the members in a Facebook group to use quotes—anonymous quotes—so that I would not be appropriating trans experience by describing it, but would be using the words of actual trans people to tell cis people how their ignorant and/or insensitive comments and questions are experienced by trans individuals. After having my motives questioned, even after I stated that I would absolutely not quote anything said by the one person who was creating all the fuss, I was essentially scolded by the group administrator—the cis group administrator—who informed me in a rather condescending manner that I need to get better at listening to trans people vis-à-vis the type of advocacy that helps. I guess I’m supposed to feel grateful that I wasn’t called “cis scum.” I don’t.
So, I’m done. At least for now. You don’t want my voice? I’m gone. Have a wonderful day.