When she talked about her disappointments about GENDA, she talked about how disappointed she was with transpeople who “shed their trans identity.”
I understood this completely. I mean, what the hell are the benefits of identifying as trans? Do you get good jobs? You do not. Do you get respect? You do not. Do you get lots of people wanting to sleep with you? You do not.
Now, Melissa sees this mostly with transsexuals who have done the work and want to go into the woodwork, but for me, I also see it with crossdresser and drag queen types who don’t so much shed but refuse to take on a trans identity in the first place. They are just normal guys who like to wear a dress once in a while.
In the end, it’s all the same thing. We need transpeople to stand up so we can work together for rights, but many transpeople just want to sit down and blend in, as their issued gender or as the gender they have emerged into.
Is trans just a transitional identity we pass through on our way from here to there, from man to woman or woman to man, or even from man to woman to man on a Saturday night?
Or is being trans just something that we are, even if we are desperately trying to assimilate as just a crossdresser or a victim of Harry Benjamin Syndrome?
And if we always talk around issues in open questions, do we really end up sounding like Carrie Bradshaw?
To make progress happen in opening space for trans expression, transpeople have to stand up and take political power, opening hearts, minds and lawbooks to create new spaces for people like us.
How do we create that space, though, if we just see trans as something to be shed off of us ASAP?