Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day of Remembrance

Today is the 9th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. It's a day to remember the trans people who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred and violence this year, and sadly, there are too many of them.

So much of what I do these days is related to gender and its many forms. I think about it all the time. I forget what it's like to not think about it, or to be confused or upset by people whose gender is not immediately clear, or to be buried in that mental binary, although I talk to people every day (even people within our own queer community) who are.

I think it's an expression of insecurity to be threatened by the fact that other people's experience is different. And that's part of the root of oppression, isn't it? That insecurity--that if someone's else's perception is right that yours must be wrong? Oh sad, binary, insecure world.

But just because I'm not threatened by it, and just because I try hard to be an ally, doesn't mean I'm not transphobic in my own ways. I still asked my pregnant friends if they were having a boy or a girl. My brain still tries to pick out the "clues" about someone's birth sex--almost as if it's separate from my own wishes. It's a clever brain, it can recognize cues that are very subtle. I keep trying to tell it that those cues are irrelevant, but it looks for them anyway. I still sometimes stay silent when there are transphobic conversations happening around me, because I am afraid to speak up and then lose a debate. It's a process, and an ongoing one, to unlearn all of this stuff that I have absorbed from the culture around me. I don't think I'll ever be done.

Anyway, there's a great article on feministing today about the Day of Remembrance.

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