Friday, June 24, 2011

A Radical Trans Profeminist Politic--just one intergender, asexual, gay white male's views

image is from here

Hi readers,
I want to put forth a radical profeminist trans politic, based on my own life experiences and those of most trans folks I know, who do not fit the stereotype of who gets air time on television. For now I'll discuss some of the issues surrounding my identity. One concern is that with such a narrow view of us, those of us out there struggling to find our way will conclude they must not be [fill in the blank] because, well, we don't feel the way trans spokespeople on television describe their feelings and experiences.

Here's what complicates things--television executives and editors will not usually show anyone trans (and few who are non-trans) talking about gender in a political way if it is to critique the hierarchy; we are only allowed only to discuss gender-as-difference, not gender-as-dominance. No one who is trans is allowed to be feminist, on television. Few people who aren't trans are allowed to be "out" as feminist either. It's terribly discouraging to me because I remember when that wasn't at all the case.
I feel the same way about lesbians and gay men who are allowed on television, or who are portrayed on television. To this day, butch women--lesbian or not--are not allowed to have major roles on TV. To this day, few to no queer people of color are allowed on television, and if they are, they're likely encouraged to fulfill a stereotype to make the het audience at home comfortable with their own stereotypes of us. Thank gawd for Wanda Sykes, is all I can say.

I don't have pay channels, so I have no idea how diverse the presentations and representations of LGBTIA people are there. But the invisibilisation of Indigenous people who are queer is absolute. I can find no examples of queer, Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, SGL, trans, or intergender Indigenous people on television. And those spokespeople who are white don't appear to me making room at the mic for our other voices.
See this progressive media and note who speaks for us most often:

We must remember that one strategy of genocidal corporations and media is to render completely invisible the voices of Indigenous people, so that when the corporations destroy them, it will not be noticed by the masses of non-Indigenous people. See here for more:

Genocidal war against the Tribal people in India – Int’l program in London
समाचार - मुख्य समाचार      

The issues that press down our lives are well beyond those discussed in "gender and sexuality" classes in white-dominated, middle-class focused, academic settings. Our issues are genocide, racism, homelessness, war, famine, lack of land, lack of clean water, HIV, cholera, and other preventable disease and illness. Our issues are rape, white supremacy, corporate Empire, and the many layers of oppression affecting most women of color on Earth.

I came up at a time when radical lesbian and non-lesbian feminist writings, by women of all colors, was readily available to me. (Please, please, please don't assume "white" when I write "radical feminist" or "radical lesbian feminist"; if I mean white feminist or white lesbian feminist, I'll write that out that way.) I needed that perspective to help me understand what was going on with me. I didn't feel like a boy, but was a male child. I don't identify as a man, but am an adult male.
When I was young, my closest family members were girls not boys, and women not men. (There were no trans people in my family  that I know of. There also weren't any lesbian or gay people either.) No one in my family had anything resembling a non-mainstream perspective on humanity. They were either Conservative or Liberal. That was as broad as their spectrum got.
I was off the spectrum in so many ways that using their measuring tools, I couldn't calculate anything at all about myself. "Gay" was around as a term, but it didn't really refer to what I am. I'm a male person who is attracted to men. I'm not a man who is attracted to men. What term most describes that? Certainly not heterosexual! I also was not ever someone who objectified women's bodies or desired sexual contact with women in my dreams. I only dream about erotic contact and affection and intimacy with males--boys when I was a child, and men now that I'm in my adulthood.

I term myself intergender and to let you know how invisible THAT category of being is, it doesn't even exist in our alphabet soup of a moniker! That's partly why I add the "IA" at the end of LGBT, for those of us who are intergender, intersex, and asexual.

Speaking also about my family of origin, being asexual also doesn't fit with anyone's conception of how to be human. Even beyond my family, most people across sexual identities think that if I'm attracted to men and have some dreams of an erotic nature, that must mean I desire to have sex. I don't.

I want there to be more options out there, to validate more complex feelings and experiences of self-in-world. I want more ethnicities of trans and queer people speaking for us, leading our movements, and appearing on television as "us". It's all so white out there right now.

I want trans folks to know you might be intergender and pro/feminist, and to have a place to discuss that online. I want asexual and pro/feminist people to have places to be online. Here is one of those places, I hope.

I want people of color to be central in the discussions of our lives. Here is one of the places I hope that can happen.