By Radha Smith
April 18, 2014
Reposted with permission
I’ve been reading the latest “eviscerate a trans woman if you are a trans woman” battles. Mostly at advocate . com, but also through boing boing and Huffpo and a person called Zinnia’s petition.
It’s so hilarious in a rather sad and demented way. It puts me in mind of the battles in the 90s at Usenet and the bulletin boards of the early Aughts where a couple of the participants ran one, or contributed regularly to one.
Seems like about every ten years the same ole, same ole breaks out and through magazines, alternative newspapers or on the webz folks rise up and condemn and make fun of the views and experiences of the generation before them.
Trans female generations seem to be about ten years as those who come on appear to have almost no relation to those who went before. A lot of that prolly has to do with the historical fact that once you did your bidniz and sucked all the knowledge, sympathy and advice you could and saved up and had surgery/ies you moved on, thanking the universe that you no longer needed to deal with that anymore. I understand that.
But, along about the mid 90s that started to change. A few women wanted to maintain connection with something they started calling “the Community.” By the early Aughts there were lots of women who saw no need to be in stealth, or hidden as ever having been trans at all, anymore. They would have fights on those bulletin boards with those who were hidden about how “all transwomen” should act on that matter.
Now an even younger group has started pushing their elders. Thus, we have this developing battle that appears to demand to some degree that once more we all divide into a side, pull out huge machetes and begin hacking at one another in a rather gruesome and bloody fashion.
What fun! But, no thanks. I haven’t any desire to demean other people, question their way of making a living, or demand that people say nice things about me and not use words I say are slurs, while I am writing tone-deaf libels and generally nasty slurs about others. Seems like a free-for-all that I’d rather not enter.
Ya know, I think there may be a reason, Monica Roberts, why trans women of color are beginning to be the most visible and admirable trans women on the block. Ain’t seen a one of them carrying and using a machete on anyone. Least of all on one another.
This bs don’t win no one nuthin. But, in Murica it seems to take a lot of time to make history. Goddess knows, we like to slog through the same crap time and time again. Maybe we should honor Cristan Williams, by studying what she has to write rather than just naming her to a hundred person list. Especially if I’ve been named on that list at some point myself.
Or, I suppose we could just eviscerate each other while we wait for the haters to come and eviscerate us all, with real steel.