Reblog: “on #nbrightsnow”

#nbrightsnow, afab privilege, binarism, genocide, imperialism, non-binary, non-binary erasure, racism, trans women of color, transgender, transmisogyny, transphobia, white privilege

TW transmisogyny, non-binary erasure, racism, imperialism, death, genocide, binarism, transphobia

Hey everyone! You may have noticed I’ve been blogging less than usual for the past month or so. I’ve been doing a lot of internal processing recently and haven’t had a lot of room for all the community-love processing I like to put up here. The blog isn’t dead though, and I’ll get back on a more frequent schedule once I’m able. Hope you’re all taking care of yourselves!

In the meantime, I’m going to spend some time amplifying the voices of more rad trans people of color. This blog post came across my life the other day, and it is such a great, succinct explanation and discussion of afab and white privilege in non-binary spaces. Please read it all. And then read all the links.

Source: http://www.deviantart.com/art/NBRightsNow-501940225

“on #nbrightsnow

“white nonbinary people: you wanna end transphobia? help trans women of color. y’all need to address the white supremacy and colonialism responsible for attacking the indigenous & transgender body — primarily the transfeminine — because that is the birth of modern transphobia.

“as they colonized the world, white people encountered cultures who embraced multiple genders. those peoples were perceived as a threat to the power structures developed from the fabricated gender dichotomy. the invention of transmisogyny was the solution. read up on the colonial gender system and how gender itself came into creation, read up on the lie that is the sex binary; recognize that “science” is heavily influenced by politics and $$$$. it’s all relative when you understand that white supremacy is the root of the issue. in order to build and maintain this system, anything that threatens its existence must be eradicated. these are the tools that were set in place to do just that.

“#nbrightsnow will do nothing but implement a couple of tweaks, because the colonial system relies on keeping the gender-based division of labor intact so that power remains in the hands of men. the gender binary they use to legitimize that relies on transphobia, particularly transmisogyny, remaining a constant. this is who you’re appealing to. so you have two options: either get nowhere, or utilize the aspects of colonialism that don’t affect you to further yourself. and you’ve made your choice, too.

“with your activism being so white and afab-centric, the scope of those changes is very limited and quite harmful. addressing the intersection that trans women of color experience can spark the cultural shift we need. why? because those intersections — (trans)misogyny, binarism, racism, classism, and sexuality — are the main components of colonialism. no true liberation can be accomplished with this being excluded from your politics. pass the mic to twoc and stand with them in solidarity. fight for someone other than yourself for once.

“you’re so diluted in your whiteness that you don’t even realize the state already knows what nonbinarism is. you don’t realize that you’re seeking recognition from a country that’s purposely been erasing indigenous genders via genocide for centuries now. that visibility you’re hashtagging away for has literally been the death of my people (i’m black) for i don’t even know how long. this shit is so wild to me because you purposely restructure your activism to exclude twoc, all while exploiting them for your benefit. change ya hashtag to #govt-please-make-room-in-your-oppressive-power-structure-for-me-please-im-begging-you
What did you all think? What were your reactions? Questions? Comments? Let’s talk about it!

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Part 4: Ignacio Rivera, Ngọc Loan Trần, and Fabian Romero

cissexism, coming out, communities of care, hate crimes, hate crimes legislation, imperialism, non-binary, non-binary people of color, prison-industrial complex, racism, transgender, transgender people of color, transphobia, white supremacy

TRIGGER WARNING: colonization, racism, imperialism, racism in queer and trans communities, disproportionate incarceration of people of color, hate crimes

See this post (“White Silence and Black Deaths”) for an introduction to the many parts of this post. I feel almost embarrassed to be signal boosting these rad people on my blog–they already have so much wider of an audience. But they are wonderful people to learn from. If you don’t know about these folks already, you should check them out!

Ignacio Rivera:

Ignacio Rivera is a pretty fabulous activist who writes about all sorts of issues. Check out their blog. In this article they say:

“The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project states that the major perpetrators of hate-based violence towards LGBT people are young white men, and a close second are men of African descent.  The Prison industrial complex is overflowing with people of color, men of color; Black and Brown men to be exact. It is duly noted that people of color get tougher and longer sentencing then their white counterparts. Who will feel the brunt of hate crimes legislation?

“Okay, you may think, ‘Who cares! If they do the crime, they must do the time.’ My point in this matter is not to deflect from the heinous crimes that hate-based offenders perpetrate, but that in helping to ‘free’ one marginalized group we cannot oppress another. Just as Mathew Shepard’s mother fought to take the death penalty off the table for one of her own son’s killers, we must not contribute to preserving the prison industrial complex. The system further damages broken people, especially people of color, and greatly falters on rehabilitation. We continue to look wholly to systems that oppress us for definitive help.

Ngọc Loan Trần:

This is an excerpt from this piece on their blog:

“my struggle is for building love.

“my struggle is for those of us who cannot fit colonial identities but take the risk anyways, to learn the ways our bodies are erased through description to learn the ways to create for our own. it is for those of us who grow out our hair for our moms. it is for those of us who sacrifice and grow through our hurt. it is for those of us who are sensitive, vulnerable but not ready to leave family, skin, and blood for some white narrative on what queer chosen families need to be. it is for those of us who stay, stay through tears and snot and sore throats from arguing not against but for our families.

Fabian Romero:

“In my urgency, I want movements that prioritize femme people, trans women, trans people of color, two spirit people, Indigenous, fat people, folks with disability, sex trade workers, survivors of sexual violence and create environments where accountability is given more merit than quick forms of discipline or punishment. I want to be in a movement where calling in and and out are both respected and where we acknowledge that the people most punished for calling out others are often times also the ones that must yell in order to be heard. I want accessible spaces that allow vulnerability, because let’s face it in our own spaces we mimic white classist ableist codes of conduct that often times prioritize looking strong over being whole. I believe it is possible to still be powerful in our messy processes and know that it is possible although hard to hold this contradiction. We need this space. I urge you to see your sites of marginalizations as your power outside of systems of power, we are inherently good and to also hold your privileges with the same passion as you do your oppressions.”—from their blog

PART 3: Alok Vaid-Menon, Janani Balasubramanian, and Darkmatter

#blacklivesmatter, activism, ally, cissexism, colonization, coming out, imperialism, non-binary, non-binary people of color, racism, solidarity, trans people of color, transgender, transphobia, white supremacy

TRIGGER WARNING: racism in trans and queer communities, eating disorders (specifically anorexia), colonization and imperialism, coming out to unsupportive families, talking about unsupportive families with racist queer people

See this post (“White Silence and Black Deaths”) for an introduction to the many parts of this post. I feel almost embarrassed to be signal boosting these rad people on my blog–they already have so much wider of an audience. But they are wonderful people to learn from. If you don’t know about these folks already, you should check them out!

Alok Vaid-Menon:

“…[A]s queer South Asians we navigate a complicated cultural landscape where we often are not afforded control of our own narratives. Our telling of personal violence often gets swallowed by white supremacy in the service of its racist and imperialist agenda. This is because the cultural logics that help maintain structural racism are stronger than our individual stories.

When my white peers would hear about the queerphobia I experienced from my people it would give power to a larger imperialist narrative that immigrants and people of color are traditional and conservative and therefore need to be educated or saved (read: occupied and exploited). … They would ask me why I was still in contact with them, why I didn’t just cut my connections….

What white queers don’t understand is that the entire mandate of racist assimilation in this country is about us being forced to give up our culture, tradition, and families. Assimilation has always been about us hating ourselves and feeling insecure in our bodies, families, and cultures. White folks do not understand how so many of us are not willing to leave our cultures for our queerness – how so many of us carry more complex identities than just our genders and sexualities….

My experiences returning to South Asian spaces have allowed me to understand the ways in which white queer politics relies on the expression of liberation as an individual and not collective process. The narrative goes that we are supposed to ‘come out’ (read: leave our blood families) and participate in the ‘movement’ (read: public visibility) and join ‘alternative kinships’ (which are necessarily supposed to be more radical and more supportive than our families of origin). Both understandings of ‘queerness’ and ‘activism’ often rely on us leaving our cultural homes in order to participate in the ‘movement.’…

Janani Balasubramanian:

Like most people on this list, they have so much good work. Here’s a sample of a piece from Black Girl Dangerous.

“I remember being hugely troubled by the language many of the speakers and health educators would use about their experiences: that ‘eating disorders were about power and control, not beauty’.  As if this were a dichotomy. As if beauty were something other than a system of control and domination.  There is nothing shallow about beauty; I have drowned in it. My anorexia had everything to do with affluent white womanhood, something not available to me, but that I was systemically surrounded by.  It had everything to do with heterosexuality: an aspiration for ‘proper and dignified’ white womanhood – that is ultimately desirable to white masculinity.

“I’m willing to wager that the majority of eating disorders are experienced by folks with multiple marginalized identities.  It’s likely that a lot of us aren’t able to talk about it because we’ve been denied representations of ourselves, and been denied in society.  It’s also likely that if we came full circle and really stirred up some conversations about this painful experience in our communities, we would find mirrors in each other.  It’s not that I want doctors to start diagnosing us left and right.  Most of the medical industrial complex isn’t competent enough to deal with our bodies.  Rather, I want us, and our communities, to figure out ways to nourish and hold each other, to make space for our truths.  For whatever ways that race, gender, poverty, disability, sexuality, and whatever else make us too complicated for dominant eating disorder narratives.  If for no other reason, than that we don’t need yet another way to mark marginalized bodies for shame and death.

Darkmatter:

Darkmatter is Vaid-Menon and Balasubramanian’s speaking/performing pair. They say: “DARKMATTER is a trans south asian art and activist collaboration comprised of janani and alok. using poetry & polemic, tweet & tirade DM  is committed to an art practice of gender self(ie) determination, racial justice, and movement building. DM has been invited to perform and facilitate workshops across the world.”

Here are some of their rad videos.