Saturday, 8 October 2016

My Trans-Agenda: what is MY message?

Yes. It is true. There is a transgender agenda. It is pretty darn devious and malevolent. Here it is in a nut shell…

"We want to be left alone and have the same rights as everyone else."

I know, what arsehole we are right? 

What do I mean "the same rights as everyone else"? Well, here it is: the evil manifesto:

·       We want to walk down the street without being harassed

·       We want to try on clothes and accessories for the gender we identify with without giggles, without judgment, without a second damn though

·       We would like to just be left alone to express ourselves how we want

·       If we need it, yes, we may need medical help and we would like to have that without fighting for it as it is not our fault we are trans

·       Also, if possible, we would like to not be killed on a regular basis just for being trans

·       Oh, and can we pee in peace please? In the bathroom we identify belonging in and where we are less likely to have the living heck beaten out of us

So yes. What a list outrageous demands. But guess what, we are not hiding any more…

See, we do want to just get on with our lives. True, many folk may not understand what it means to be trans but does that really matter? I say I am a woman - does that actually impact you? If a gender fluid assigned male wants to wear a dress is that really an issue? If someone wants to be referred to as ze, zem, zir and have the title Mx, does it need to be a major problem? 

That said, sometimes we just want to be understood.  This can be super hard because the message that is put out there can be super mixed and it is no wonder folks find it hard to understand who we are and what we want. Language is changing - our labels are changing. Changing fast. Right now there are so many pride flags and we have to remember that folk still don't know what the rainbow flag means, what LGBT refers to. We cannot make an assumption that what and who we are is pretty obvious. There needs to be some give and take on both sides. 

For this reason, I think it is important that we have role models out there being visible and sharing information. See, not every trans person wants to be noticed. So many want to slink away, be accepted for their gender and have that as end of story. For some there is a belief that people can get things right straight away but that is not always so. You may just not want to talk about it. Fair enough. I get that and I understand wanting to quietly get on with it. 

The problem is that there is a lack of understanding out there, so we do need some role models shouting out and explaining things:  being highly visible. This is not an easy thing and it can be dangerous. 

Also it is very easy to get wrong. Caitlyn Jenner does not seem to live on this planet. Douche as a male, douche as a female. Gigi Gorgeous is possibly just an idiot. There was the big scandal about her heading to Dubai and not getting let in because she is transgender. No shit Sherlock. 'Gender Deviance' is illegal out there. That is how that country operates and you should check things like this before you go. I don't agree that it is right but this is the real world and trans rights have a long way to go. When you go making a fuss about these things you just make us look stupid as a community. I wouldn't go flying to many, many countries. Just cause you are a c-list celebrity, doesn't mean that the real world doesn't apply. 

Luckily, there are folks out that that do spread the message and do so well. Here are a few of my current favs, who make use of different media. I write as that is my method for spreading the word. And talking. I talk a lot. Sometimes a have an audience and they cannot move from their seat cause it is rude. I like that J but others have different methods of communication. 

A month or so from the time of writing I will be attending a talk by Sophie Labelle.  Sophie is an artist using her talents to explain the issues facing the trans community. Her cartoons are sharp and to the point. Best of all, they are succinct and explain what I ramble on about in a thousand words in three short images. Want to understand pronouns, check this one out! 

want to know the wrong way to deal with accidentally misgendering someone, here ya go:

I wrote a massive blog on that - this explains it much better and way quicker. 

That said, she has come under fire for being visible, for being trans. If you stand up you will get pushed around. No wonder so many folk are so scared to come out as trans. Thank goodness for folk like Sophie. She maintains a good, strong and clear message without getting bitter. Exactly the sort of role model we need. 

So I was bloody horrified to hear that she was getting grief from the trans community too. The claim is that she is making money off 'the pain of others' who are transitioning. Shut up. Sit down. You stupid peoples. Sophie gets points across clearly and quickly, as I state above. Way better than I do. We are lucky to have her speaking up. I really look forward to meeting her next month. 

Another current favourite trans advocate is the YouTuber Claire Michelle .  

 I have been following Claire since she first appeared on YouTube and I have always enjoyed her videos. Of late though she has been doing a more informative type of video pretty much sharing ideas that share 'how to be a good trans person'. Explaining that we need to be patient with folk and we need to educate. That we need to be clearer and not mix our message. All with a massive grin on her face whilst she talks. I think that if I smiled that much my face may crack - but then I'm a grumpy punk. 

I really like her message and I think she is a fantastic role model for our trans community. Plus, she is a kick ass musician. I may have accidentally been a bit rude about folk music over at the music magazine I write for. I was actually trying to be complimentary. And then over compensated with a ramble apology. And there we go - I sometime miss the point I want to make. I think her message is clear and that is the trick to a good trans role model. Her music is also darn ace - I won't go on here, especially as I am saving it for a review. But check out her album here and give her some deserved love:

Fox Fisher has been putting out quality educational videos for ages. Fox is non binary and I have learnt a lot about what that means watching their videos, whether on their personal YouTube channel or through the My Genderation channel that had a whole bunch of different trans folks sharing their views and opinions on life. Indeed, the greatness of My Genderation is that there are trans-men, trans-women, gender fluid, non-binary etc folk featured. So important.  

As trans evangelicals it is important that we explain more than just our own personal state of transiness, but all others too when we can. I can only really talk about being a trans-female as that is my experience. Fox gathered a range of folks so that the channels can be as informative as possible.

That said, when you talk about things that folk don't understand, such as being non-binary in a non-binary relationship  you are gonna attract hate.  And wow, what a lot of hate. Sod it - keep going Fox. You are star for trans rights. This was a fantastic way to hit back!

"They live amongst us."

I'm not going to go on too much, but I will leave you with one more person to think about and that is the singer Fat Mike from the punk band NOFX. I have just listened and written a review of the new album First Ditch Effort. it will be out shortly on the (self-promo) AWESOME website. NOFX have always pushed the boundaries and I think it is fair to say that many things they say are pretty crass. 

Unhelpful? Maybe. But I have always been able to take it all with a pinch of salt. See, there is the song My Vagina, all about sex change. Crass as all hell and somewhat of a joke. Yet, there was always something about it that made me think that it was not meant in a nasty way. Plus, it actually had some informative lyrics in there. 

Don't ask me why - just a gut feeling. Sure, it would be easy to hate on it and be offended but I just wasn't. So many time NOFX go on about equality etc and it never sat right that they were such hypocrites. Many times they actually advocate, in their way, for equal LGBTI rights in their songs. When Against Me! needed a musician to stand in on the album for recording after Laura Jane Grace came out as trans, there was Fat Mike stepping in. Also notice the videos where he is in drag - he walks easily in heels. 

In the new album, Fat Mike comes out as a cross dresser on the song I'm a Transvest-lite. Again, in his way. In an interview with AltPress he says: 

“I used to live so much of my life in private but I’ve slowly started going to parties and out in public without being embarrassed of my true identity and that confidence just transferred over to my entire life,” he continues. “When you’re dressed in rubber and heels and corset and you’re waiting in line for an Omelette in Jamaica, well, after that there’s nowhere else to go.”

I actually think that this is a very important song. From a well know, famous punk rocker, coming out as a cross dresser is a pretty big thing. It just isn't done and is pretty groundbreaking. Binary transitioned figures are more and more visible. Non-binary figures are becoming visible. Having someone stand up for cross dressers is pretty cool. The lyrics are fantastic and the song is pretty good too. Check it out - track 7 on this playlist. (Sorry - I cannot skip to it here - it is playlist only. I will ask them to release it as a single!) 

So yes. We need good role models and these are some of the ones I think are good for the trans community.  Personally I am doing my best to become one myself. I am putting myself out there. I am opening up. I am expecting hate but I can't say I am too bothered about that. I am happy and I hope I am helping. 

Of course, there is a bunch more folks I could talk about. 

Another time!

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