Not Your Mom’s Trans 101

This fabulous blog post by Asher Bauer takes on some of the typical ‘Trans 101’ tropes. For example:

‘Trying to teach a new perspective to the victims of this extremely aggressive brainwashing can be daunting. In fact, the task can seem downright impossible. The temptation, therefore, is to “dumb things down” for the benefit of a cisgender audience. This situation has given rise to a set of oversimplifications collectively known as “Trans 101.” These rather absurd tropes, such as “blank trapped in a blank’s body” cause confusion among even well-meaning cis folks, feed internalized transphobia among us trans people, and  provide endless straw-man fodder for transphobic ‘radical feminists,’ entitled cisgender academics, and other bigots.

Near the beginning of my transition, I myself taught “Trans 101” this way. Because I didn’t know any better. Because I had been taught to think of myself in terms of these same useless tropes, as an “FTM,” as a “female man,” as somebody who was “changing sexes.”’

There is also some great advice for non trans peeps:

‘If you want to be a good ally, you need to start taking cissexism and transphobia seriously right now. That means getting our goddamn pronouns right and not expecting a cookie for it. That means learning our names. That means not asking invasive questions or telling us how well we “pass.” (Passing generally means “looking cis.” Not all of us want to look like you, thank you very much.) That means deleting the words “tranny” and “shemale” from your vocabulary. That means understanding the immense privilege you have in your legally recognized, socially approved, medically assigned gender.

That means realizing that this is just the beginning. and that you have a lot to learn. That means realizing that it would be intrusive and importunate to ask the nearest trans person to explain it all to you, as if they didn’t have better things to do. That means hitting the internet and doing all that you can to educate yourself. And once you’ve done all that, maybe you can call yourself an ally, that is, if you’re still genuinely willing to join us in the hard work of making the world a less shitty place to be trans.’

 

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About Madame Moselle

Freelance provocateur. Enthusiastic optimist. Dancing bear. Believer. Facilitator of perversion. Disseminator. Libertine. Moth and flame. Rouser of rabble. Stirrer of pots. Bowerbird. Public spectacle.
This entry was posted in Activism and Advocacy, GLBTQQ (and the much disputed 'I'), Queer, Sex and Gender Diverse, Trans*. Bookmark the permalink.

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