Posts tagged ‘transgender’

04/06/2013

“Wipe out Homophobia” but let’s make sure the transwomen keep quiet. (I hope I’m wrong about this.)

This weekend past something happened on Facebook which took me right back. Back almost ten years to a point in time when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym. That brought me right back to the good ole days when the LG part of the acronym seemed to take total joy in silencing the “B”s and the “T”s. It was a moment in my own life that showed me once more though this time in a very personal way, if I needed another example, that the “T” in LGBT is nothing more than a placeholder for an extremely convenient sacrificial lamb.

So Amanda, what happened?

Well on the morning of Friday the 31st, the self described education page Wipe out Homophobia (WOH) posted this link to an article about the Stonewall Riots. For those who don’t know, the Stonewall Riots were a pivotal moment in LGBT history, which marks in many ways the start of organised action for civil rights for LGBT people.

If you read the article in that link you’ll notice something is missing. Something rather glaring in fact if you happen to know anything about the riots. Why yes, there’s absolutely no mention of transgendered people. Funny considering that there most definitely was transpeople of varies types involved.

So being me I decided to comment this. Mine was the first comment. And my comment was the following.

“So transgendered people are written out of history again I see.”

I posted, and within a few minutes not only was my comment removed, but my account was blocked from making any further comments. So how do I perceive this act? Well as being censored of course.

The LG movement has a long history of throwing the Bs and the Ts under any political bus that happens along, though because it’s much easier to throw the Ts under a big political tyre we have tended to get it a bit more. We get written out of queer history all the time. We often have our rights, and our needs neglected, or misrepresented by the cis-gendered Ls and Gs for their own political gain pretty regularly, usually it seems to be explained away with a phrase like “A small sacrifice for a greater good.” As a matter of fact we as a group are misrepresented by Ls and Gs all the time, in every sort of situation, I can’t count how many times I’ve been described in some way as a fake person by one of my so called allies. How many times truly horrid comparisons have been made about me, my brothers, my sisters from within what is supposed to be our own loving community For an excellent example of this, well, remember I mentioned this at the start of this article?

“…when the LGB societies in Ireland were debating whether to include “T” in the acronym”

Back then I was a member of several Irish LGB forums. All of which I left after various people decided to compare transgendered people to pedophiles. And if that comparison sounds familiar well here’s the first page of a google search. It’s been almost ten years since that particular vitriol filled debate was heard in Ireland. But the pain caused by some of the comments, and arguments made during that debate is still with me, and I’m sure others, to this day.

The T of LGBT is sometimes heard to be called the “silent T.” And that is with good reason, seeing as our places in our own history keep being rewritten, by people who are not us. I won’t try to explain how, not when someone else has already done it infinitely better than I ever could. Please click this link to read how the story of Stonewall has been stolen from the trans-community by cis-centric members of the L and G communities. Censoring of transpeople is simply business as usual for the LG part of our little family.

Taking a deep cleansing breath, because this could devolve in to a full-blown rant very easily and I’d rather like to keep the high ground here, but I am very angry, rightly angry. Well anyway, I have this to say directly to the owner/s of the Facebook page “Wipe Out Homophobia“.

The history of my particular subset of humanity does not belong to you, or to any lesbian or gay person. Nor to any bi-person, politician, historian, or asshole with a red marker and a nasty attitude. In fact it doesn’t belong to me either. It is history, the past, an immutable fact. It has already happened. The truth of who was actually there can not be changed. But by trying to silence someone who draws attention to the way in which a key part of our communities history has been altered, rewritten, perverted,  you are simply doing to transpeople what the rest of the world has at one stage or another tried its damnedest to do to you.

Your page is listed as an “education website” on Facebook. But if you deny the truth of an event. If you deny a group of people access to the heroes of their part of their community in that event, then you sir/madam prove yourself as wrong, as misguided, as indefensible as any other history denier who walks this Earth.

Whether you like it or not transpeople were a part of Stonewall. They and the other queerfolk who couldn’t hide in plain sight, the queers, the nancy-boys, the butches, the trannies of all stripes are the ones who led that particular charge, because they had No. Other. Choice.

They were there then.

We ARE here now.

WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. No matter how hard some of our communities members may try to drive us away, you probably know exactly who I’m talking about.

Denying our place in history won’t erase us.

Denying our existence won’t erase us.

Stealing our words, won’t silence us.

Nor will stealing our voices.

Trying to silence us when we call “bullshit” won’t silence me for one. It’ll just make me scream louder. And you better fucking believe I’m not alone.

WOH, I can now post on your page again, I unliked you and boom, look at that, I can comment. But I no longer care to do so. You tried to silence me when I called bullshit on a history denying article that YOU posted on your page. You supported history deniers, the rewriters of history when you did so. You stopped being educators, and became oppressors.

You erased my words, then stole my voice. Guess what? I have many voices, and congratulations, you just became one of the very people who vilify you, and as I avoid them, I now avoid you.

I hope I have taken what happened on Friday the wrong way. I hope you were having a pissy day and you regretted your action afterwards. I hope that you are not one who has taken the first step down in to a darker place. I have hope, but not a lot. In any event have a nice life.

Just one small thing more.

I’m not going anywhere.
I will not be rendered silent by anyone.
I will not have my heroes denied their places in history.
What they did matters.
They matter.
I will be heard, and I will be counted.
What I think and feel matters.
I matter!

(Why do I get the worrying feeling that Sputnik is about to land on me?)

Edited to add that I’ve just found out that a friend who made much the same comment, but even more politely has had his comment removed also. Well, so much for hope then.

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