So much of the dominant queer/trans narrative is dominated by a particular form of ageism that is distinctly raced, gendered and classed.

We are permitted spaces to talk about “how hard it was for us to grow up,” but there’s this assumption that we were somehow supposed to “move on” from this foundational violence of our youth. “It Gets Better” is not just a suggestion, it’s a mandate. Our citizenship in queer life is contingent on it. If we do not assimilate into compulsory pride and hope then we are literally disinvited to the party. If we do not just locate institutional violence in the family and not also the Stage then we are not eligible for the movement.

Queer and trans adults aren’t imagined as worthy subjects of violence. If they say their bodies are still under attack then they are imagined as some sort of failure. The burden of progress is assigned to the individual to find a way out of violence, not the system to stop being violent. There is this assumption that it’s possible to find spaces that aren’t violent — a luxury only afforded to those with power. And in this way queer and trans politics totally regurgitates the dominant frame of neoliberalism which is symbolically and financially invested in locating blame and agency in individuals rather than structures.