Really, really, really.

Someone wrote…

I really, really, Really, REALLY want to tell all the people I care about that I don’t identify as any gender so they can have a greater understanding of who I am, but I also feel like I can’t because as a “fellow cisgendered dude” it’s like my words carry more weight as a perceived ally than as an actual member of the transcommunity. I wish it wasn’t that way.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on November 21st, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Really, really, really.”

  1. ecm

    I don’t have that problem, but I can totally see where you’re coming from. On top of that people would probably be much more taken aback.


  2. Evan

    I’m not sure if this was exactly what you’re getting at, but I’ve realized lately that I often give my supportive cisgender friends more credit for accepting me than I give MYSELF for living in this world as an openly gender-variant person and trying to educate people about trans issues in any way I can.

    I also sometimes feel like a cisgender person arguing for trans acceptance is somehow more compelling than a trans person (including myself) arguing for their own acceptance. I’m much more moved when a cis friend defends me in the face of someone’s crap than when a trans friend does it because I feel other trans folks have a personal stake in supporting me, whereas cis folks don’t, really.

    I don’t know if that’s internalized transphobia at work (“he’s normal, he doesn’t HAVE to accept a freak like me, but he does it anyway”) or just a appreciation for the fact that we NEED allies if we’re going to create a more open and accepting society.


  3. I wrote this comment

    What I was trying to say was better articulated by your second paragraph. From the offhand comments that my friends say, I get the impression that to them the words of an ally has more authority than an actual trans-person. Because an ally is still “normal” (ie “one of them”) from their viewpoint.

    I was just trying to say that I wish this strata of “normal”/authority didn’t exist, that it didn’t have to be an issue of Them and Us, but only Us (humanity as a whole) :D


  4. Evan

    It’s true – I wish all the time that this hierarchy of normalcy and privilege didn’t exist. What’s ironic is that I’m complicit in it by appreciating the support of allies more than I appreciate my trans friends. Part of me feels like WE (trans folk) speak out and support each other because we HAVE to…whereas allies don’t stand to gain anything in particular from supporting us, and are simply doing it out of personal conviction or friendship. It can be very tempting for me to value that more, and sometimes forget or devalue the great personal risk that we ourselves take by being open and vocal.

    I realize that it’s not that simple and that this could just be another way of saying “we should appreciate that the normal folk are willing to give us the time of day,” but I have to admit that I’m never more moved than when my closest straight male friend publicly stands up for me.


  5. the other julian

    This is called privilege.

    Your knapsack, you may want to unpack it.


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