This Saturday there is a trans conference. The cis supremacist asswipe is going, this is in no way a surprise but is pretty damn busted.
I won’t be in the same car as him going there.
I may have to eat breakfast with him, I’ll sit at another table with my partner and maybe a friend.
I hope that he won’t be at any of hte workshops, but I’m terrified that he’ll think it’s okay for him to go to a PEER workshop for trans leaders of trans groups.
I pray he won’t go to the intersex one, led by an intersex person. I want to go to that so much. It’s the only reason I’m really going.
I can’t be around him. I hate this I hate this I hate this. I want to go, but I can’t be around him. I hate this so much. I hate that no one cares that I can’t be around him. The fucking genderqueer wants us to all stick together even though SHE FUCKING KNOWS I CAN’T BE AROUND HIM. I hate that I have to choose between my mental health and something Ir eally want to do because no one cares about hte fucking freak. Let’s all make sure the cis people are comfortable.
I have serious problems with social dysphoria. I would really like help with this, but there don’t seem to be any real options. The school counselor probably doesn’t really know enough to offer any really helpful suggestions. Most gender therapists, based both on my experiences and hearing from others, would end badly. I’d first have to find one who isn’t binarist or else face them trying to force me to decide if I’m a boy or a girl. Then I have to find one who has experience in this, because most of the time it seems like they only know how to help people transition because that’s the main reason a lot of trans people see a gender therapist.
I’m trying to work on it myself, but it’s slow going. I don’t really know how to work on it.
Questioning your gender is an incredibly delicate time. Any trans-friendly resource you can find (or apparently trans friendly resource) can have a much bigger effect on you than it’s likely to later on. Now, everything in our lives effects us, but when you’re still coming into your identity and aren’t quite sure who you are and are able to find acceptance for what may be the first time, that can be a bigger deal than when you’re comfortable with yourself. This isn’t always for the best.
My first trans-friendly resource was an incredibly binarist forum. Because of that forum, I spent a year and a half trying to identify as male even though someone had told me about neutrois my first day there because people told me that it was unacceptable to be neutrois. Even for half a year after I found a non binarist trans resource, the effects of that first one were still pretty heavy on me.
So when I keep hearing about how the leader of the cisCenter is so great for helping people who are questioning their gender identity, that makes me really uncomfortable. From what I can tell, she doesn’t direct them to trans-run resources. She may take them to a trans conference, but not immediately. She basically sets it up so that they’re main source of support is cis people who, well, are very possibly transphobic cis supremacists. These trans people think it’s totally okay for cis people to be in charge of educating about trans issues. Who think that just being a feminist helps trans people. I don’t get the feeling that they feel comfortable speaking up for themselves or even being out on this campus.
It really makes me uncomfortable. The whole thing does. The closest trans support group is an hour away, so it’s very very likely that these people won’t be able to get a non-transphobic “trans friendly” resource until after they graduate from this place. So if they do realize later on that she added to their internalized transphobia and cis supremacy, they’ll probably be in no position to tell her this and she’ll just keep on doing what she’s doing. I don’t think she’s set out intending to do this harm, but that really doesn’t matter, does it? Maybe she is helping them, but really? She could be doing a damn better job of it.
It’s funny how much your opinions of people can be shaped by other people. If a person you trust tells you something about someone you thought was nice, and what they say makes you think they aren’t so nice, you’ll probably end up warier around that person. It’s difficult when you find out that you shouldn’t have trusted that person, though.
Keith from the Center told my partner and I that the counseling services treated them badly when the cis people in charge of the “trans” group brought up them being more helpful about trans things. Now, I wasn’t privvy to any of these interactions. At first I, assuming Keith was a decent person, believed what he said. This was pretty early in the semester, when my partner was still starting with their therapist. Now I know from dealing with him exactly what he considers being “treated badly” (not spinelessly grovelling at his feet). My partner’s therapist hasn’t been the best so far, but I don’t know how much of that is because the two just don’t mesh and how much is because my partner’s views ended up being colored by what happened. Later on he and his therapist ended up spending an hour and a half of an hour long session talking complaining about Keith (which meant me sitting there, after the place had closed, wondering if I should still be there or if they’d left without me), which I imagine was pretty damn cathartic for my partner.
There’s a genderqueer on campus that, at the start of the term we were getting on with alright. Then a few weeks in she just stopped talking to us that much. The timing coincides with a few things, including that group starting and us spending time with Keith. Keith’s girlfriend told us that the genderqueer unfriended her on facebook, acting as though she had been very inconsiderate and rude. We based part of our view of her on that and assumed it was just how she was. After dealing with these two I can’t help but wonder if what really happened is that something similar went down between her and Keith, and now she doesn’t want to deal with people who have anything to do with him any more than I do.
I don’t really know, I don’t have much of a way to know. I don’t know her well enough to ask her and I don’t talk to her often enough to be able to casually bring up the fiasco with the center. But it really bothers me how much these two have effected my judgement of others, because now I really don’t know what’s right or wrong in a few situations.
I am really nervous about going back to college because of how transphobic the cisCenter, which is generally considered to be an expect on trans issues by cis people because they have a “T” in their official title, is. I think it’s a sign of how widespread the myths that “trans people are just super gay and/or gay people trying to get acceptance” and “you’re either gay, straight, or lying (so you can’t be bi, poly, pan, or ace)” are that people think that just because you call yourself “LGBT”, you’re automatically knowledgeable about to only the LG but ALSO the B and T. Come on, it’s the same thing, the last two letters just want to horn in on straight privilege! That or it’s just bright eyed idealism that otherwise privileged gays and lesbians are above prejudice and ignorance.
Bitter rant aside, it’s probably going to kick me in the ass because it means that cis people are a better authority on my life than I am. I can’t just say “X is offensive to trans people”, they have to check with the cis people at the “LGBTQ” center to make sure it really is. You know that us gender confused trannies can’t be trusted to know what’s going on in our lives, we don’t even know what our gender actually is!
The more you can accept the kyriarchy, the easier things are. It would be much easier for me if I could accept cis supremacy, if I could cower before the cis people who feel they deserve special treatment for taking spaces away from trans people. It would be easier if I could be happy with the support that takes little or no effort on the part of the people giving support. If I could tell myself that trans people are too complicated, that I deserve not to be treated as an equal, that I should be happy with the kind of transphobia that doesn’t involve spitting in my face. I’d have a lot more support, I’d be able to go through life feeling that things aren’t a horrible hideous mess.
One of the trans people at my school is like this. She can still go to the “trans” group and the “LGBTQ” center. She can talk to the cis supremacist asshole because she’s willing to bend to his will. But she isn’t really happier, not from what I can tell. I don’t want to sit there and smile and agree that cis people know best when around cis people, then lament to trans people that they aren’t doing what you need, that they’re disrespecting you, that it makes you so angry you want to throw a chair across the room. It would be easier. I would be able to delude myself, have the kind of support you get when you’re willing to swallow the poison they feed you. The kind that feels like strength in numbers but eats you up from the inside and and tells you that you deserve nothing more than to grovel at the feet of cis people in desperate hopes that they might toss you table scraps. You don’t even deserve the scraps, really, it’s pretty damn presumptive to expect them but you should grovel nonetheless because it pleases the cis people. And that’s all that really matters.
As you may or may not know, this blog got started when a “LGBTQ” Center, specifically a “Trans Activism” group (run by a cis man), turned out to be spectacularly transphobic. Sadly, this is not terribly uncommon. Yes, it’s probably ignorance (which is transphobia)- but because the cis-privileged people I had to deal with responded to being told they were being offensive with either “you’re wrong” (and their proof of why was, of course, transphobic) and “it’s offensive to tell me I’m being offensive”, it is officially willful ignorance and not “innocent” misinformation. And while it isn’t my job to educate them, even if it were, I wouldn’t be able to do it and there’s absolutely no way to make this place trans friendly until they get over their privilege.
It bothers me to no end that this place is still called the “LGBTQ Center”. The “T” should indicate that it is a safe space for trans people. A group, club, organization,etc should never call itself “LGBT/Q” unless it backs that up by making sure it’s a safe space for every single letter. That means that if you’re doing activism, you do not drop trans issues to make it easier to make the changes. That means that you don’t stock books like “The Transsexual Empire” anywhere but in a section of “Know Your Enemy”. That means that if people are being biphobic or transphobic or anything else, you speak against it. And if you don’t, but someone else does- you let them and don’t let people bully them into silence. It means that you correct people who make a reference to “both” genders or sexes or being able to determine gender by genitals. That means making it clear that trans men are allowed to use the men’s room and trans women the women’s and trying to have a bathroom for non-binary genders and that anyone who has a problem with trans men using the men’s room or trans women using the women’s room is free to use the non-binary bathroom because you will not be othering trans people.
But that’s not usually what happens. It’s way too common for “LGBT” spaces and groups to be as transphobic as the most anti-gay church. It can even got to the horrific extreme of a trans woman being beaten by cis gay men at a so-called “LGBT” place. And that is not the only time I’ve heard of it happening. I’ve seen cis lesbians bragging about ganging up on trans men who went to a LGBT night club. This is allowed to happen.
No place should ever be allowed to be called “LGBT” unless it is genuinely supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual AND trans people. We should be able to know that places that have the “T” are actually safe for us. But there’s no way to make that actually happen.
I go back to school in just under 2 weeks. So I finally did something I really should have done before. I came out as trans to people at school via facebook. My procrastination on this (6 months after school starts) is understandable- it’s only in the last month or two that most of the people have been added. I tagged 12 people and so far 6 people have commented on it or sent me a message thanking me, another (who I’d already come out to) just liked it. One person asked me about why I dislike sie/hir (because of German and mispronouncing “hir”, I only perceive it as female), I ended up in a conversation about the cisCenter with another who’d been more involved but is transferring to another school.
One thing kind of bugs me, but this is just a “Cissexism Sucks” and not a problem on their parts, I’ve gotten a lot of “I didn’t know what to use for you”s. I really freaking wish we lived in a society that not only is it safe for people to ask that without fear of offending people when they aren’t sure, but where it’s commonplace to ask everyone. Not in my lifetime…
I just need to tune out the center as much as possible. Forget it exists, remember that I don’t need it, remember that it’s not my job to fix it just so that it’s better for other trans people. It’s not even my job to find out whether or not the other trans people are happy with it. Because it is a serious source of anxiety for me because, I think, LGBT people are trained to think that they need to seek out places like the cisCenter so I have this idea that I have to be able to be there. That I have to have it to be able to have support, even though it’s clear that I’ve got support already. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is.
I really need to come up with a pseudonym for the leader of the cisCenter… But, back at the thing that “didn’t go as bad as it could’ve“, she asked me if I blamed Keith for what was happening. I’m not really sure what she wants me to say- yes. I blame Keith for his actions. I already acknowledged my part in it, but that doesn’t erase what he’s done. I do not control him, I am not responsible for his actions and he is not responsible for mine. So, yes, I do blame Keith for what he’s done because he’s the one that’s done it. But I didn’t say that, I said “I didn’t think he’s doing it on purpose, but he is doing it” or something like that.
And, you know what, no. I don’t blame Keith for what happened. I blame her. Because I don’t think Keith is the one who put those ideas in his head. She called him and his girlfriend the “Best Allies”. I’m sure she’s the one who either put the idea that being an ally means you’re allowed to mistreat the people you’re an ally of because you’re more important. And the way she treats trans people, well, it’s no surprise.
I don’t know if I really have a right to talk about spoons, but I’ve officially been diagnosed with double depression so I guess I do. If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say spoons, give this a read.
Having a smaller supply of spoons makes life more difficult than having a larger one. Especially because having a smaller supply of spoons generally means you’re lacking at least one privilege, so you have to deal with discrimination. So you have to either waste precious spoons fighting discrimination by fighting against people with far more spoons than you and far more power than you, or you have to live with the discrimination. Which takes up spoons in its own way. A no win situation.
I’m not up for a lot of things. There’s a post I wrote 3 weeks ago that I can’t put up because I expect cis apologist & cissupremacist responses and I can’t handle that right now. I have at least 2 emails from that cissupremacist asshole that I haven’t read and may never be able to read, I can’t even check the folder to see what the titles are because I physically shake uncontrollably when I do that, not that I expect htem to be anything I’d like to see. I’m not up for fighting with the leader of the cisCenter, twice now I’ve told her she’s said something offensive to me and she just responded with “well, you’re wrong”, I don’t have the energy to handle that. I’m not up for finding out if two people who might be my friends are actually able to be trans accepting, because if they aren’t then I can’t really handle it. I’m not even up for correcting people misgendering me, which means that I have to live with the pain of being misgendered and the horrible questions of what would happen if I did correct them and how I could handle it. I’m barely up for contacting my teachers to try and get the right pronouns.
This is one thing I hate about oppression. I have to expend energy, make myself vulnerable, just to ask to get what I need. And if I get rejected, then I have to expend more energy, make myself more vulnerable to find someone to help me or I have to live with not getting what I need. And lately it mostly means living without just because I don’t have the energy to do anything else.