November 13, 2016

Post-election Crossdreamer Blues

After a really bad week I am pulling myself together. I am not going to sit still and watch the transphobes ruin the lives of a new generation of gender variant people. Here's what I shared with my friends over at Crossdream Life today:

I normally avoid discussing politics in trans fora, and plan to continue to do so in the future. Being pro-trans or anti-trans is not really a right wing/left wing conflict.

In Europe you will find right wing governments that change laws in order to help trans people (which recently happened in th UK and Norway). In other word: Both liberals, socialists and conservatives are supporting LGBTQA rights.

However, today I feel that I need to speak out.

The backlash against tolerance and diversity is real and it is clearly associated with the recent nationalist upsurge in countries like Russia, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Britain and now, the United States. And it seems to be spreading.

I know that quite a few of my crossdreamer friends have had some really, really, bad days since Tuesday, trying hard to cope with the fact that the next US president has allied himself with some of the most homophobic and transphobic people in the world. He might wave the LGBT flag, but when his vice president believes in conversion therapy, we know we are in for a rough patch.

I have already talked about the way this election triggered childhood memories of hazing and bullying in me. The attitude expressed by many Americans right now also remind me of the kind of culture I grew up in: Where any form of femininity or female identification in male assigned people was considered degrading.

The suppression was so intense that I, for one, didn't come to terms with my transgender nature until long after I had become an adult. The fact that so many Americans share this kind of attitudes even now is extremely depressing. I must admit that I been very distraught this week, and this does nothing good for my dysphoria.

We have seen this kind of backlash before. Berlin and Paris before Hitler were open and tolerant cities, with some of the most open LGBT communities in the world. The day the nazis burned the library of Magnus Hirsrchfeld's Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sexual Sience) in 1933 represented the end of that tolerance. Hirschfeld was one of the leading supporters of gay and trans rights at the time.

Lately we have seen immense progress as regards transgender rights, and yes, this also include crossdreamers and crossdressers who are not gender dysphoric or need to transition. Terms like genderqueer and nonbinary has helped the millennials and gen z youth to escape the trap I was forced into: Total self-denial. And it is exactly this kind of tolerance the new wave of aggression is targeting: a society that respects diversity.

I think it is important to keep in mind that this is not 1933. Or, at least, it does not have to be. There are new generations of people out there who will refuse to move back to some mythic time when men were real men and women baked cookies. In fact, I suspect we will soon see a new resistance, one targeting the current wave of sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia, both in Europe and the US. People are mobilizing as we speak.

Moreover, we should keep in mind that many of those who vote for this new wave of extremist nationalism are not necessarily homophobic or transphobic themselves. They just wanted to show the establishment the finger.

I have decided to climb up of the dark hole I have been sitting in during this election campaign. I will not sit still and watch bigots destroy the lives of new generations of gender variant people.

We already know what to do:

1. We need to continue to listen to other members of our transgender family when they struggle with their sexualities and their identities. If we can help each other out of our basements by listening and talking, we can help each other come to accept and love this strong and life giving side of us.

2. We need to create even stronger alliances between all types of LGBTQA activists. Right now gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people are facing the same bigoted enemy. United we stand so much stronger.

3. We need to call out bigots when we seen and hear them. They only win if we allow them to believe that they now has a free pass to say anything to anyone.

This also applies to those of us who are not out publicly as trans. There is a lot we can do in forums like this one and online in general.

So please, my good crossdreamer and transgender friends: Continue to share your ideas, feelings, fears and love!

UPDATE November 11: After I posted this post and made that Rebel Alliance transgender flag, I find that Rouge One writers have made a similar logo, this one:

It seems we are facing a perfect timing of the new Star Wars movie.

1 comment:

Jack Molay said...

This post is being discussed over at Crossdream Life, here!