For my trans 101, I took everything that I either know on a conscious level need to be reminded of often to believe, and things that I’ve seen other people do that I’m sure I do myself. And I do, I really do. There have been a few posts I’ve written that I’ve felt the need to drastically change to be more “cis-friendly”. There’s one that I feel is incredibly important to say, where I try my best not to make accusations and make it clear that I just want cis people to think harder about some of the things they do that they may not think about, and I won’t post it until I’m emotionally in a better place because I really don’t think I could handle the comments.
While writing my last post and commenting on someone else’s post (our conversation has kind of gotten off-topic… okay, not really, because it’s still mostly about cissexism, that’s sad) that I don’t really want to educate cis people right now, I just want to focus on helping trans people- I felt the need to justify myself.
How fucked up is that? I, a trans person, when talking on my personal blog and to another non-cis person (JKBC doesn’t fit into the trans/cis binary any more than the gender binary), feel that I need to justify not focusing on cis people. I just think about all the times I’ve seen trans people either explicitly say or imply that we need cis people to accept us so we need to cater to them (one of them did so while telling me my gender made me inhuman, srsly.). And we obviously all know that there’s also the constant stream of that from cis people themselves. I’ve had cis people who were misgendering trans people while saying that we, as in trans people, owed them for “accepting” us. I kid you not.
Now, okay, yeah, there are some things that having cis people on our side would be helpful. But the idea that I need to justify myself, as if I’m doing a bad thing, for focusing my attention on trying to help trans people directly instead of focusing on cis people? Just… so screwed up. And I am 100% confident that this is not something only I have to deal with.
I am an introvert. I don’t do well with people in person. I can’t keep up a conversation with any regularity, mishear things all the time, mess up my words, and only remember the gist of things rather than the exact words- so in a later conversation I always get the me: “you said _____” them:”No, I said ____” aggravation. I get overwhelmed in crowds and prefer to be able to control when I get faced with bullshit because my mental health isn’t good enough to be able to handle it on demand.
The internet is pretty much my home for those reasons. And I forgot that. I forgot that that’s okay. I forgot that, through the internet, I’ve helped a few multiple systems come to terms with themselves. I’ve helped people who never heard the term “asexual” feel less alone. For awhile I was a sort of vigilante on an incredibly binarist forum, saving non-binaries from their clutches by saying “Hey- it’s okay to be you, whatever that means”(before it got to be too much for me to handle). Which would have been damn helpful for me to hear before.
As soon as I find out the school policies on posting things on campus, I’m going to try posting a ton of flyers directing people to a website I’ll make where people can go to educate themselves about trans stuff. Part of this is that I want to compile various levels of trans resources (ex trans 101, 201, 301, 401- to use the US university system).
Hopefully it’ll help a bit, but one thing that bugs me about trans 101 stuff is the language. It’s generally still rife with othering and cissexism because it’s trying to communicate with people who have grown up in a culture rife with othering and cissexism. I know that I’m going to put better resources the more complex it gets… resources that talk about the importance of langauge, etc. But it still makes me feel a bit gross because I can’t find a decent trans 101 that doesn’t do something like remove the right of trans people to define our own bodies. :/
I have been trying to remind myself of two things today: 1. They have no power over me if I don’t give them that power, I’ve been overestimating the amount of influence they have. 2. I don’t have to fight them if I don’t want to. And I don’t, I’m not interested in a power struggle with someone who has a host of privileges (male, cis, straight, possibly neurotypical* and some class stuff going on) over me, when I have none over them.
I’ll hopefully be meeting with Em to watch a movie this weekend. I’ll see if she’s up for a revolution. I know at least one professor who is. (and by revolution, at least right now, I mean doing the fiasco that happened before and should’ve been a trans-run event right, making a separate club next semester, and maybe, just maybe, submitting an article to the school newspaper about the trans 101 workshop. I’ll leave everyone else’s names off of it- that one is all mine.)
The article will, of course, be politically written. Written to inform people about it, say that while trans people aren’t running it they are involved, and that if anyone wants to hear from actual trans people about trans 101- do not go to the “trans” group, but go straight to the source. We’ll hopefully have a group next semester.
*I don’t think I am, I think he is, etc.
**I don’t htink this is an actual revolution, btu saying it feels nice. Like something’s actually gonna get done. And it sounds better than “seceding”. The south lost.