Hi Constance, thanks so much for reading and responding. Yes, you are so correct about the amount of hatred out there — something for every “flavor under the trans umbrella!” Lol. Love that description. But I take comfort in the fact that the voices of love & support have, at least for my family, always, always outweighed the voices of hate. By far.
Totally agree that one group’s problem should be everyone’s problem. When I first experienced trans discrimination (as it happened to my child), my eyes were quickly opened to the plight of many other minority & marginalized communities. I felt ashamed and embarrassed at first, at just how unknowingly complicit I’d been in furthering social injustices in a nation founded on systemic racism/white supremacy, the male patriarchy, and thoroughly steeped in cis/heteronormative culture. But I quickly got over it, and then my personal truth became: I can’t fight for the human rights of one minority group unless I’m willing to fight for the human rights of all minority groups. (I mean, not TERFs, but you get the idea ;-)
Also totally hear you on the amount of discrimination coming from inside the LGBQ+ community. That was one of the first lessons I learned when I first began volunteering at the LGBT Center. I saw a lot of it especially among cisgender adult gay males who couldn’t tolerate trans women/trans girls. And then the more I learned & thought about it, the more I figured that for many of these guys, seeing trans women living authentically was a trigger. In much the same way that seeing openly gay men is a trigger for some hetero men.
I wondered if some of these cis gay guys could have been trans women and just didn’t realize it, or were maybe too afraid to confront it.
The more questions I asked, the more I got to know these men, the more I saw patterns emerging: many of these men had exhibited some degree of feminine behaviors/desires at early ages and had been beaten — physically, verbally, or both — into gender-conforming-submission. Any lingering femininity they may have felt became a source of profound shame, guilt, and disgust. Of course, that’s how misogyny is born — thinking there’s something that makes femininity “less than,” or that there’s something “wrong with” femininity in general, irrespective of which gender is expressing it.
It was unfathomable to me that such hatred could exist between such similar groups. Groups who fought equally hard for their rights to simply exist and be. And especially when you consider that the historic, pivotal contributions of pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera — who basically advanced LGBTQ+ rights to where they are today — were trans women of color, not gay white men.
Maybe the tide is turning, or maybe I’m just tuning it out — but honestly, I feel like I don’t see nearly as much LGBTQ+ infighting as I used to.
Thank you for the kind words, and I’m honored to have your voice in GftT! And thanks for the recommendation of “Work in Progress.” I hadn’t seen or heard of that one yet, but will now go looking for it!