Trans discrimination II

Why should discrimination against trans folk be unlawful? Because it stops us from thriving, and so stops us using our gifts to the benefit of all. People are weird. Our weirdness and difference is a source of strength. Accepting the idiosyncrasies of each frees everyone.

What can be weighed against that? A feather against a gold brick. Some people are transphobic. They find us repulsive. They want to say that, they want a nice, predictable world where everyone, but especially some groups such as fat people, queers, and immigrants are restricted, controlled into conformity by oppressive speech, and given a ghastly time.

Don’t compare your sin to my skin said Black evangelicals, who opposed gay liberation. There are so many overlapping oppressions. Trans folk are divided against ourselves, as if the bigots would tolerate a particular group of trans, if the others did not spoil it for us. Fighting ones own oppression is such a grievous task; and not everyone has the personality to sympathise with others, even when their problems are so similar. Do you think he can hide his nature? Jimmy McGovern’s hero priest in Broken asks the Afro-Caribbean man who despises his sister’s gay neighbour. We can, but it costs so much! None of us can escape who we are.

I demand that level of sympathy. All are broken, all are oppressed, all must work for the freedom of all; and when you realise that, you can be free.

It is not a free speech issue. You’re a man, really has little value as speech. Why would anyone want to be rude to me? To exercise power over me, to oppress me. A pointless, thoughtless cruelty for the sake of it. What do they gain? A fraudulent sense of their own correctness, understanding and control- but they don’t understand or control anything, not really.

The freedom that matters is the freedom to live your life as you choose. Freedom of speech has value where it allows people to work out new ways of living, but not when it restricts us. I harm no-one by expressing my femininity. I should not be deterred from it by the fear of not getting a job, or housing, or services. There is no value in being able to say to another, Ew! I disapprove of you!– unless that person is doing something which clearly harms someone else.

I wonder how this relates to Nietzsche’s conception of the strong and the weak. I feel, expressing myself female, particularly weak and vulnerable, yet feel that is closer to his Hero than to his resenting lesser men, who conform to a conventionality defined by others. It is not the same- I do what I must, what I may, not what I Will. I seek a world where none are weak, where no-one need to conform to anything but their true nature.

8 thoughts on “Trans discrimination II

    • Thank you. Next week I shall be camping on the campus of Warwick University, and showering in their sports complex. That means taking my wig off and showing my male pattern baldness in a communal shower. I will be self-conscious, and will shave the sides of my head to mitigate my embarrassment.

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  1. Pingback: Trans discrimination II via Clare Flourish | Just Merveilleux?

  2. Yes – so perfectly said Clare. Gisberta Salce – I’ve just read about her through Mr Pink’s re-blog of your words, and it’s so terrible, so beyond reason, the poor woman, I am in tears. For her, and for you, and all who are so cruelly discriminated against in this way. I echo Mr Pink – being in the 21st century imakes it all the more heinous. Humanity crawls forwards so slowly, and as it does it destroys so many lives along the way. (I’m writing this on Mr Pink’s post too, because I want to say it again.) x

    esme x ❤

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    • Darling, this on Gisberta Salce: even those who are seen as communities of support and recognition perpetuate discourses of gender binary norms, and the only apparent possibility to humanize and transcend these norms is materialized in artistic performance and production, which allows for a more emotional connection to the ‘subject’ as a human individual rather than a mere transgression.

      People need someone to look down on. Sometimes I provide that service, an outlet for otherwise inexpressible rage. I rarely do that for someone who actually knows me.

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  3. There is a bone deep ugliness in human nature that causes us to lash out at difference. I think it’s caused by fear but I don’t know for sure. And in a way it doesn’t matter because there are no excuses for cruelty.
    Be who you are and never forget that you are beautiful.

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