Vaginal Discourse

I can’t watch documentaries on trans* people without crying and/or getting angry.

Last night, ABC’s Primetime Nightline was about trans* kids. You’ll have to Google it, because I didn’t make it past the 30 second mark. The host opened with something along the lines of ‘J. Crew! Did you see J. Crew!’ and went on to ‘What would you do if your son wanted to wear a dress?’

I know, right? Why are things always so complicated?!?

Anyhow, I shut off the TV at that point. I’m not sure why I bother. Some people like watching train crashes, I like watching the media talk about people that have something in common with me. Well, not actually.

Most cis people are pretty clueless when it comes to trans* people’s lives. I’m always hearing folks talk about “education” as a starting point for addressing the burden of transphobia (never mind the serious intersectional oppression going on in a lot of our lives, too).

Sure. Fine. Whatever. Educate yourselves.

Here’s the thing: in the popular media, “educating” cis people about trans* lives pretty much always takes the form of letting strangers gawk at the freaky non-normals. Also, it involves telling both sides: ‘trans people, are they people, or are they not?’

Yawn.

It’s like the intermediate value theorem. You can’t go from abhorrent object to acceptable person without passing through “controversial thing to talk about while pointing.”

Fuck continuous functions. If you want to educate yourself about trans* people, I suggest reading about our own words, which tend to assume we’re people.


ETA: When I wrote my confession (which I haven’t actually sent to the Tumblr of the same name), the crying part also involved the media parading incredibly privileged trans* people in front of me. Look! This trans* person went to the doctor/surgeon/whatever! As if it’s that easy for most of us.

Over a decade ago (before I came out), the day my hair was long enough to pull back into a ponytail (or pony nub) was one of the highlights of the year. Now, 19 times out of 20, my having a ponytail means that FFS I’ve got yet another thing to take care of.