We’ve all encountered them, especially on line and it has been a major part of the “World of Transwarcraft.”
And it is going to have to be something that we put aside if we are going to work together not only as transsexual or transgender people but as progressives and working people working as part of an even bigger coalition.
I don’t care if the insult hurler is part of the HBS Mob insulting transgender people or part of the Transgender Borg insulting the genitals of post-op transsexual people.
It’s bullshit and a way of ignoring the humanity of others.
Further those of us who hope to work together need to start calling out the individuals engaging in this and stop speaking in generalities. All post-op transsexual, evne thouse who uses such phrases as WBT, post-transsexual or person of transsexual history to describe themselves are not the individuals insulting TG people.
Generalizing and assigning the characteristics of a particularly nasty individual to the entire class of people is how racism is structured.
Likewise most transgender people, particularly activists are pragmatic people willing to change their thinking to adapt to changing situation. Most are not the Transgender Borg, who are part of this cult who do not converse but rather playback dogmatic nonsense in a hostile and aggressive manner.
Funny thing is I rarely encounter these creatures of the internet in the real world so it may well be that this behavior is a product of the relative anonymity of the on-line world where people feel free to let their id and ego run rampant in a game of my ego is all powerful.
When I came on line sixteen years ago I was near bottom, struggling with alcoholism and nearly suicidal. I started volunteering at the LA Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and met people like Jake Hale and Susan Stryker who helped me see my self-worth. Then I met Tina who helped me get sober. Along the path to sobriety I took some false paths because I was trying to get rid of a lot of garbage that had helped me to become a drunk.
At first I got rid of a lot of good as well as the bad. Then I realize that renouncing the hippie ethos was a mistake and what I really needed to tackle was all the abuse that was at the root of so much of my self-destructive behavior.
The hippie stuff probably pulled me through when so many of my friends died.
You see some of that hippie stuff helped me to feel free to come out to the members of my collective in 1969. the very idea of be yourself and do as you must, harm no one, wer magor components of the hippie ethos.
Hell listen to the songs of the Jefferson Airplane before they became the Starship.
The idea of I am you and you are me and we are all in this together.
Or that we are all outlaws in the eyes of Amerika.
There was a time when we proudly wore the label of “Freaks”, because not being part of the gray world of button down collars, shirtwaist dresses and white picket fences was a good thing.
Not sharing in the warlike consciousness of greed was a good thing.
One of the things that surprised some of my friend at the transsexual counseling center I co-ran in the early 1970s, was that I wasn’t embarrassed to take people out on their first public appearance.
That I had the fuck’em attitude towards those who stared at the people I was accompanying.
The secret is we are all freaks of one sort or another.
It isn’t a crime to be different and the rules of conformity are only rules to slaves.
We are people not a bunch of labels.
When you are born transsexual or transgender you are the one who has to figure out how to live with it. Society dumps a shit load of oppression on TS/TG people, even more than it dumps on gay and lesbian people because we violate their ideas of there being this radical difference between men and women, the total linkage between sex and gender.
Our existence questions the absoluteness of those classifications.
Thursday night Tina and I watched St Misbehavin: The WavyGravy Story. Hugh Romney started out a beat poet in Greenwich Village during the late 1950s. He went on to become a hippie and a great humanitarian. (If you have Showtime on demand they are playing St Misbehavin’ until 6/26. Its in their documentaries section of the on demand listing)
Once I had been sober for a couple of years and realized that I shouldn’t have trusted the news media, including the New York Times when it came to lying us into the war in Iraq I started sliding back to my left wing hippie roots.
I never liked Stalinists or politically correct people who use dogma to lie.
I don’t use sweet pure expunged and expurgated language, I have a potty mouth.
But I believe in standing up for the bullied and oppressed and I believe in the human rights and dignity of all.
Which is why I get fed up with transsexuals who think they are the only pure transsexual and that most others are degenerate perverts. Or think that people who may be TG because of economics or personal choice are some how degenerates scum.
If you call TGs degenerates scum it says more about you than it does about the person you are putting down.
When you expect me to agree you dishonor all my TG friends who had an even harder life than I had. Friends who were so abused that only heroin would take away the pain, friends who died of pill over doses and AIDS. Friends who lacked social services and places to go for treatment.
I really don’t even share the assumed hostility towards transvestites as a class. I don’t need to understand it to wonder why they are stigmatized and not Civil War reenactors, or costumed Comic-Con attendees.
Seems the only reason they are picked on is because of a passage in Deuteronomy that is on the level of eating shell fish.
But most of all the horizontal hostility is harming everyone. At a time when the rich right wing elite is crushing the most vulnerable people around we are being scapegoated in a manner that is truly frightening.