Friends: Over the past few months I have been receiving an unprecedented amount of vitriolic and repugnant comments, messages, and online abuse. Many, many rape and death threats are included in this.
This has everything to do with the social legitimization of (trans)misogyny by the state-endorsed right wing. Thank you to the many of you who have sent me comforting messages of support. Many of you have been asking what you can do to help and I've been thinking about it and here's what I feel is important to say.
As a queer/nonbinary/trans/femme/gender non-conforming person of color I experience harassment almost every day when I go outside and when I post online. You never quite get "used to it," but you develop coping strategies and support networks. But what I can't cope with is the ways in which gender non-conforming people are required to make arguments for the legitimacy of our struggle actively while we are being attacked.
What I mean is: white cis feminism continues to only racialize and gender us as villains and never victims. In fact, white cis feminism has and continues to be used to blame, demonize, and discredit transfeminine people of color for a very long time.
So what this means is when we experience harassment we have to humanize ourselves, make a case for why we deserve empathy and care. We are up against hundreds of years of solidified colonial narratives that prevent people from A) acknowledging that we exist and B) acknowledging that we are under attack, not the attackers and C) that we deserve care and support.
That's the part that exhausts me most -- not even being able to rest because I have to be vigilant to highlight all of the dynamics of racialized transmisogyny.
What I would ask is that you help gender non-conforming people of color like me by including us in all of your feminist & gender frameworks. Language matters. Say violence against women and gender non-conforming people. Say violence against trans women and gender non-conforming people (or violence against transfeminine people). Don't just say patriarchy is violence from men directed to women, say patriarchy is also violence against gender non-conforming people.
Be vigilant to constantly and at all levels refuse to participate in the erasure of gender non-conforming people. GNC people deserve spaces and time to rest and recuperate and we shouldn't have to worry that we will be misgendered and misrepresented.
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