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Friday, May 24, 2013

Erasing the T out of LGBT

Erasing the T out of LGBT

This topic is going to be a sticky one so, cats and kittens buckle up.

With June sneaking up on us, I am pretty much aware that Pride coming up fast. Already the Stonewall Union has ads, banners are hung up in Columbus’ Short North, and people are buying their tickets and marching. It’s this time of the year I earn my ‘queer’ points, and march with TransOhio and volunteer at their booth. It’s also when I pal around with my trans* friends and catch up with them talking about all sorts of shit and it is the only group of people at Pride I can feel myself around.

I am usually thrown aside by everyone else at Pride.

The thing is, Pride these days isn’t for queers but for hetros that walk into Goodale Park, like the way we go to the zoo. Many of them are ‘allies’ in the loosest sense, but most of them just go to Pride to ‘have fun’. I personally hate it but my opinions are mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. My biggest problem is the goddamn intersectionality that gets eaten up like first graders on chocolate cake. First off, being trans* doesn’t make you queer. You can be straight and trans*, you can have hetro privilege and trans I am aware of this. On the other hand that only happens when you start passing as a hetro couple. For me it is the other way around. I have straight privilege now, but when I turn fuzzy and fat I am well prepared for the volley of “faggot” I am going to get if I cuddle the SO in public. The SO, probably isn’t ready as he think he is for it. Which brings me up to another point, you can be gay, lesbian, asexual, wtfsexual and trans* and yet no one actually fucking realizes this. If I out myself as trans they are going assume my girlfriend is around here somewhere and they will invalidate my gayness if out myself as gay first same quandary only my gender is removed. Rinse and repeat. This happens a lot because people forget that trans* is a gender status and one that fits with every flavor of ‘rainbow’. So that is one way I am ‘erased’. 

It gets weirder as I feel uncomfortable in gay bars, gay men will immediately assume that I am a woman ergo this isn’t my ‘place’. In womyn’s and trans* groups, I find often that my silicon junk is being ripped off and throw into the trash. I am assumed to be the ‘right’ kind of man because I don’t benefit from the patriarchy right now and my passing status is iffy. But what about my brothers that are passing well? Gods know that if my friend B walked into this group he would be turned away because he would be assumed to be cis. Which is incredibly problematic and honestly gross, but not surprising. I would be treated with the same sort of exclusion if I started passing well. Trans women get a similar treatment, only it’s inverted. More interesting enough , every time the issue of birth control gets throw up in an argument, I am the only one that reminds the cis ladies that trans*men need BC access too. Because hey, much to everyone shock, trans*men can get pregnant. T doesn’t always shut down the hen-house. 

Let me bring something else up, Gay marriage. Is a trans* issue. Too all the baby queers out there with your rainbow rubber bracelets and legalize gay shirts. You can thank a trans woman for that. The whole gay rights thing you know, Stonewall was started by drag queens and trans women. The whole ‘gay marriage’ was trans issue long before it became a queer issue. Yet, we’re being written out of our own history. Gay rights has been getting paler, and more cis-flavored every year and it’s a damn shame. I see more people wearing ‘equal sign’ merchandise without realize that HRC does to poor, black or trans* people. 

Yet I still march at Pride. Mostly for the rights I probably never get because the gay lobbyists are still trying to shove the T out of the acronym. I will still get more transphobia from gay men and lesbian women than I do from cis people as I go clubbing or drinking or hanging out with my gay or trans* friends. I will feel erased from history every step I take at Goodale. But I march so my trans* friends have support of another brother, so they can kiss their lover proudly and unbashly, I pass out flyers so trans* people have another resource. I go to Pride to not wave my rainbow flag, but to wave my pink, blue and white flag. Let’s just remember here, we don’t have a ‘trans* pride’ day. We have day in the year called “Trans* day of Remembrance” it’s not happy day. Its sobering reminder of the countless of lives that died because they dared to be themselves, that week in November is the day we educate the public and try to turn back the tide of trans* people that are dying every day. Going to Pride to me is knowing that despite the storm around me, there is a rainbow at the end.

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