"wish they had finished you off" "degenerate" "you have a mental disorder" "go die" "you are a man with a hairy chest in a dress, reconsider your life choices" i woke up today to an onslaught of racist & transmisogynist comments on my photos the day after the premiere of #TheTransList. & i knew this would happen but it still hurts. here's the thing: visibility for gender non-conforming people often does more for cis people than it does for us. you get to be inspired, educated, challenged, compelled, aroused -- we get to expose ourselves to more harassment and violence. gender non-conforming people -- and especially those who are Black and PoC -- experience the brunt of the backlash for gay & binary trans "progress." we are often the most visible, therefore the most identifiable, therefore most targetable. our genders get taken from *us* and made into a symbol of everything wrong with *insert group* : we are reduced to caricatures of the 'politically correct' establishment, failures & embarassments for our races/communities, failed men, failures of identity politics & more. i have been really encouraged to see people acknowledge the risks that trans women (& especially those of color) take for acknowledging their transness in public when they could just "pass" (whatever that means). but i have not seen this same respect extended to nonbinary & gender non-conforming trans femmes. this is because we are expected to be visible because if we are not we are just regarded and dismissed as men. we are denied a self if we aren't visible because our entire self is predicated on being seen by others rather than belonging to ourselves. our job is to be visible & instrumentalized for everyone else but ourselves -- it is an expectation, no a mandate. our visibility is needed as a character foil for what heterosexuality is not (abnormal), what cis gayness is not (no femmes! no sissies!), what cis womanhood is not (read: hairy, bulky, 'mannish'), what trans womanhood is not ("complicated," "man in a dress," "pre-op"). you want us to be visible, but you do not protect us when we are.
support the author