Stop Playing Dress-Up With My Oppression

Uncategorized

CONTENT NOTE: fabulousphobia, non-binary erasure, femmephobia, transphobia, appropriation, assault, suicide, unemployment

Source: http://www.cityonahillpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/QFS3.jpg?w=582

[Image description: A stage covered in glittery confetti (which is also falling through the air) has humans dressed in colorful clothes and balloons behind the confetti in the foreground.]

Well, now I understand why people talk about drag shows as violent.

I am not a costume.

I am not your exotic fabulosity.

I am not a joke.

My gender isn’t something to be played with by people who have better genders to put on when the sun rises. My life is not your dress-up.

But my oppression has become a mannequin for your fashion show.

You might get high off the crowd’s love, but no one cheers me on when I show up at the office in an orange trenchcoat.

When I get dressed, it’s not a moment to broaden my horizons.

No, when I get dressed, it’s a fucking panic attack.

My clothes are not a performance. My gender is not a farce. This isn’t a show that will be over at the end of the night.

This is me.

I am real.

This is not cis voyeurism into trans experience. This is my daily life.

My outfits are not fabulous for your commodification or appropriation. Fabulous has become so over- and wrongly- used (do you say I am fabulous when I show up in court as myself?) that I say it isn’t my word at all. It’s yours.

I am rad, but because I am me. For me, my outfits are quotidian, and every one I wear, whether it’s Carhartts and plaid or feather boas and striped socks, is me. All of them are fabulous.

I am not only fabulous sometimes. There is no “fabulous” uniform. I am not fabulous today and drab tomorrow. I am both fabulous and boring every day.

I may panic more when getting dressed, but I don’t need your objectification of my gender expression making that harder.

It is me,

it is mine,

I am whole.

Don’t make that struggle yours by wearing my clothes as a costume and laughing at how open-minded you are. Laughing at how silly you look in all

that

glitter,

all those bright colors.

Why is it that you get more support for looking like me for one night than I do in my entire lifetime?

If you really want to take up the mantle with us, try working to end our suicide or unemployment or assault rates.

Not wearing our clothes.

If you cared about that half as much as you did about us looking fabulous, we’d be in a fucking different place by now.

Think about that before your next drag show, your next fashion show, your next roundup of performed gender.

Who is this for?

Why are you doing this?

What reasons are helpful?

Which ones hurt?

And let me just be. I shouldn’t have to see myself paraded every which way, every sashay, myself snatched in every laugh and cheer.

This is for you.

You do this for fun. To joke at ridiculous and strangeness, what you see as an exaggeration.

I do this to live.

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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!

Why FAAB Non-Binary People Must Recognize Transmisogyny

agender, faab, femininity, femme, femmephobia, gender expression, genderfluid, genderqueer, maab, masculinity, non-binary, non-binary erasure, transmisogyny, transphobia

Trigger Warning: transmisogyny, transphobia, non-binary erasure, violence against trans people

NOTE: I know not everyone uses the words “masculinity” and “femininity” for themselves (I don’t), but for the sake of brevity I’m using them here.

themanicpixienightmaregirl:themanicpixienightmaregirl:Hey Nightmare Girls, this is going to be the first t-shirt. Eh?http://www.cafepress.com/manicpixienightmaregirls

Source: http://themanicpixienightmaregirl.tumblr.com/post/109631076432/themanicpixienightmaregirl

A few weeks ago, I saw a MAAB student start wearing some new clothes to school–a sparkly striped pink, purple, and blue shirt; a red sweatshirt with silver rhinestones. The clothes complimented their rainbow pink light-up shoes very nicely.

As I saw this student finally able to make some changes in their school wardrobe, I was excited, for sure, and scared for them, hoping it was going OK. I also realized something–I think I knew it in theory before, but it hit my gut that week.

This student wearing glitter and purple and pink and rhinestones–the censure they face is fundamentally different from the censure I face as someone who is (and is perceived as) FAAB. Transmisogyny and/or femmephobia is something that affects all MAAB people that deviate from the norms set by masculinity.

Those norms are stricter, with less room to move, than the norms set by femininity. Although FAAB people who deviate from those norms still face problems (for sure!) masculinity in FAAB people is more accepted and met with less violence than femininity in MAAB people.

With my body as it currently is, and in the queer-friendly area where I live, I can express my gender in a much wider range than someone who is or is perceived as MAAB, without as intense of a risk of violence.

Now, do I struggle with tons of shit and transphobia? Of course I do! Do I always feel comfortable with the way people are perceiving me? No–on days when I wear a dress, I hate when people think I’m a girl. Do I feel like I have a license to express my gender how I truly want to, all the time? No, definitely not–my gender expression, in some of its forms, is outside the realms of acceptability.

But, as long as I am seen as FAAB, it is much less likely to bring physical violence my way. Even if I leave the house in fairy wings, a leather jacket, plaid pants, glittery platforms, and a big straw hat. I may be laughed at, sure, ostracized, yes, deemed unprofessional–the marginalizations are real, and why I don’t always express my gender all the ways I’d like to.

But it’s still safer. It’s still safer. It’s still safer.

FAAB people, I know we are not a monolithic category. We have a huge range of experiences. If we are perceived as MAAB but also express a lot of femininity, we might even experience different pieces of femmephobia that feel a lot like transmisogyny, even if it’s different.

(Personally, although I’m neither a femme man nor a butch woman, if I had to choose I’d rather be perceived as a femme man. It’s not what I want to be perceived as, but given the options most people think of, it’s the better possibility. But I have to admit that one reason (among many) I’m nervous about taking medical steps for that to happen is all of the extra violence that will be thrown my way.)

We FAAB people come from all sorts of experiences, and we still need to recognize all forms of transmisogyny. It’s real. It’s killing our siblings at very high rates. It may feel like the unique problems of non-binary erasure are affecting us all equally. They’re not. They’re not in 1001 ways (this isn’t even going into how race, class, ability, nationality, etc. affect people). But one big way is the way in which femininity on MAAB (and MAAB-appearing) bodies is reviled and exterminiated.

Honor our siblings who are well aware of this, for whom this is their daily life, for whom this is their deaths, our siblings who wear pink and purple and glitter and rhinestones and light-up shoes anyway. Listen to their stories.

And call out transmisogyny when you see it, again and again. Act in solidarity with our MAAB siblings. Work towards love, for everyone, again and again, and again.

It’s how we’ll all get free.