Monday, April 18, 2011

If You White Trans People Were Being Dissed, Would You Be Happy About It?

This is a guest post from the ever fabulous Monica of TransGriot

The Handle Our Chocolate Trans Business post I wrote is blowing up in the comment section on my FB page    The 'united we stand, divided we fall' line and the 'we're a small powerless community' talking points have predictably been deployed in this conversation.

But if that were the case, that trans unity sure isn't a concern when the invites to TBLG White House receptions and Christmas parties get dished out, transpeople are needed to testify at Congressional hearings, lead lobbying organizations,  lecture at colleges or gender conferences, talk to the media or be keynote speakers at trans themed conventions or events.

I don't hear that 'were a small, powerless community' rhetoric when it comes to policy formation and implementation and when it's time for people to get paid for advocacy on our community's issues.   

The issues of African American transpeople also aren't a concern to elements of the white trans community such as the WWBT's when they are desperately trying to reclaim the white privilege and status they lament losing. 
I and other trans people have talked about the erasure at various times since 1998.  This isn't a new issue.  Race matters in this community and as much as people cut their eyes at me for pointing it out, it does.   It damned sure does for the non-white transpeople being erased from the ongoing trans conversation. 

And don't think it's just Moni or other African American transpeople that have noticed it.   Our African American cis allies have expressed their concerns to me about it.  African-American parents of trans kids have noticed it.   Our legislators at all levels of government have noted the lack of melanin in the groups of people who come to lobby in Washington D.C. and our various state capitols.

And our chocolate GLB allies have noted it as well.   They deal with similar erasure from the white GLB community and know the frustrations we deal with firsthand.

So I ask you white trans community?    If the pumps were on the other foot and it was you who were being dismissed, disrespected, and ignored by a community you were supposed to be a part of, would you be happy about it?  

Hell naw you wouldn't be.   So why would you expect us to just meekly submit to treatment that you yourselves would and have found intolerable when aimed at you by Gay, Inc.?

I've said this before and will say it again.  If we assert that the trans community is a diverse bunch of people,  a diverse trans community is our best weapon and our strength against our misguided opponents inside and outside the TBLG community, then why hasn't more been done to ensure our community reflects that rainbow of diversity at all levels of it?

And no it can't be just African American transpeople meeting you halfway.   We've been there, done that and are still trying to do so.   We've repeatedly pointed out the problems in this community and told you what needs to be done to solve it.  You're the ones in the position of power to get the party started toward implementing the solution to this POC erasure issue, so the onus is on you to do something about it.