lgbtqa movements are springing up all over the place. for those of you way behind on the lingo lgbtqa stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, asexual/ally. you may see this combo of letters in different arrangements, sometimes with other letters attached or it may be referred to as “alphabet soup”. this can be confusing but it means our ideas on sexual identity and gender identity are expanding which is a fabulous thing!
i have to say that the brave ppl who fought gender oppression were the first on the front lines of the battle for sexual rights. this is not just at stonewall but in san fransico and los angelos. the gender pushers were the first to take a bottle to the head and police harassment. transphobia in the gay/queer community is ridiculous and redundant. it should stop. it should have never begun.
so here’s the deal..gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer are forms of sexual behavior, attraction and action, the verb sex. this sex includes forms other than “one man with one woman” sex. transgender and gender queer have nothing to do with verb sex, and everything to do with noun sex-what gender you are and what gender you identify with. and while the word sex is used in both of these categories the meaning of the word changes changing the entire climate of the conversation. for simplicity sake let’s take out noun sex and replace it with the word gender. at least for a bit.
it seems to me the breakdown in communication is most commonly occurring here: sexuality vs. gender. over the last 50 years our cultural understanding of sexuality has made great strides, more and more things outside the boundaries of one male, one female missionary style sex are becoming acceptable and expected. families look very different today than they did in 1950. you may see a child with 2 dads or 2 moms or 2 moms one dad or 2 dads one mom or no mom or no dad….you may see men holding hands with men in walmart or women holding hands in the mall. not to say these things were not happening in 1950, but it was not happening in public, only behind closed doors and under facades. there are ppl who can say “i have no sexual attraction towards anyone!” now we SEE the wide variety of sexual orientations everywhere. there are advocacy groups for gays, there are pflags and gay/straight alliances in schools, there are a wide variety of christian churches opening their doors to the queer population. all of this is wonderful!
but due to the way sex has been wrapped up in gender for so long, and traditional gender roles have been established by man does abc, woman does 123, how do you abc123 when you have two ppl of the same gender filling both roles? this has left us with a great opportunity to reconsider what is masculine and what is feminine. what does gender mean? and how do we individually see ourselves under the gender microscope?
this allows a person who was born a male, to look inside themselves, to stop playing by societal rules, and know they are female. most ppl look at a transgender woman and assume they are just a very flamboyant gay male, therefore the transwoman will be attracted to men, have sex w men bc deep down they are just a man in a dress who likes to smooch other men. this could not be further from the truth about transppl! trans ppl struggle from a very early age with gender identity. this has nothing to do with who they want to smooch on. as a matter of fact, i know more trans ppl who if they were cis-gendered (identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth-a female person who lives in a female body as a female) they would be considered straight. many transwomen i know are in relationships with female identified ppls, and many transmen are in relationships with other male identified ppl. being a trans person or a gender pusher does not have anything to do with your sexual orientation.
a person has every right to live as their chosen gender or lack of gender. it is the choice of the individual and ppl other than that individual do not get to define them. the same goes for sexuality. i don’t get to say that a person is not a woman bc they do not have big breasts. when it comes down to cis-gendered folks, noone would argue that breast size has nothing to do w the validity of the woman. same goes for transppl! if a person is born male but feels female she has every right to express herself in the manner that makes her feel comfortable. this may not include typical “feminine” social constraints-it is possible that a transwoman may never shave their legs, wear a dress, wear a wig, curl their hair or pick flowers; a transman may shave thier legs, never work on cars and enjoy cooking. doing things outside of the social norm is ok for transppl, as it is for any other ppls! if the shaving of legs makes you more or less a woman, there are alot more girls in boy bodies and boys in girl bodies. bottom line is the ppl who get to define a person is the person themselves and noone else!
there is a major issue in many of the activist circles concerning the legitimacy of transppl. i have seen alot of trans-snubbing and even violence against transppl or gender queer ppl. i have seen this in the feminist circles, in the gay community and of course in the hetronormative world. it makes me incredibly sad to see this. the results are devastating! self-mutilation, suicide, depression are just a few very common issues that occur in ppl who don’t tow the cis-gendered line, and not having a community to fall back on, a group of ppl who say you are great the way you are only further pushes the transppl toward these very destructive problems. i have seen feminists rallying for equality tell transwomen they are not real women and have no place in feminist circles. i have seen members of the gay community turn their backs on trans ppl. i think this is bullshit and i would rather not be associated with ppl who act so deplorably! we call for equal rights but only for a select few? we ask not to be judged for who we are, and yet we sit back and judge others for just being who they are? this is not ok! when one person is oppressed, we all are oppressed. when one person is assaulted, we all feel the ramifications of that! i cannot understand why ppl who have been on the receiving end of so much hatred and mistreatment can turn around and demean, humiliate and belittle other ppl! this needs to end!
my trans and gender queer friends are some of the coolest and most educated ppl i know. they are strong and they are beautiful. the world is much better having these ppl than not! we need to stop drawing lines in the sand making ppl outside of acceptable. ask questions, talk to ppl, listen! i have yet to meet a transperson or gender queer person who is unwilling to at least attempt dialogue on the issues of gender and/or sexuality. i have learned so much from just having friends over and asking questions in an honest way than i have reading any book ever written! i do have extraordinary friends, but i believe they are not the exception. if you don’t know any transppl or gender queer ppl, le t me know, and i will have someone get in touch with you and answer any questions you have to the best of their ability!