my thoughts on where trans and bi folks fit into "the movement...."

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 13:55:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Aidan * Nuccitelli
Subject: Re: [TGTS-YOUTH] 3 things

On Fri, 28 Apr 2000, Kristen wrote:

>>> Finally, here in Boston in the Sunday Globe, there was a 2 page article on how the T-movement is being shunned by the Lesbian/Gay Rights movement. The article hinted at it, but I really feel its becasue so many types of g variation are included under one label as 'T'. <<<

But on the other hand, many of the gender variations included under "T" come from the lesbian, gay, and bisexual communities. Like drag queens, drag kings, passing women, stone butches, stone femmes, androgynes and multigendered folks (who i think are very rooted in the bi community in particular)....

>>> I am whole-heartedly for equal rights for all, but as a hetero MTF TS, I can understand why the Gay Rights movement is not warm to being connected with us. And think of all the hetero CDs and TVs, from what I understand, they are the most numerous of all transgendered people. So, my question here is, do we feel we have to join the lesbian/gay movement? We've come to accept the moniker 'LGBT', but we have unique issues to deal with.<<<

I feel that the same question faces the bi community, except that fewer people seem to question why B should be in there because the connections between gay and bi experiences are more obvious. I don't think either the bi or trans communities are entirely "joining the lesbian/gay movement;" in fact, I think those bi and trans people who *are,* are the trannyfags, the ki-ki girls, the bi-dykes and bi-fags, etc. - those folks who have b and t identities AND feel like they're a part of the lesbian or gay communities.

I think LGBT is something different than "the lesbian/gay movement;" for example, The Advocate is very much a gay magazine (and calls itself that), not an LGBT mag, but the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is an LGBT org (despite the name) which has a Bi Visibility Project and has covered trans issues devotedly for years. And I think that this confuses a lot of people - *like* the Advocate, who ran a readers' poll last year asking whether trans people should be allowed to join the gay movement.

It seems to me that trans gay people *are* in the "gay movement," and no gatekeepers can block our entry to all "gay" groups or media, not when we've been here so long and been so active in gay stuff long before the advocate ever realized we were there. It's kind of like the bi movement; way way back in the late 50s and early 60s, the head of the big gay group (the national association of homophile organizations... there's a word missing there.... it was called NACHO) and the head of the big dyke group (the daughters of bilitis) were dating. and there was a huge scandal around this, and they were called traitors and thrown out of a lot of stuff, and it's just one example of how bi folks have been active in the "gay movement" for decades and people *still* question whether they should be included. And trans folks were on the very front lines at Stonewall; it was drag queens, butch dykes, and homeless folks (and a lot of those folks overlapped) but now people write letters to the san francisco chronicle demanding to know why we have a "GLBT Pride March" when "i didn't see any trannies fighting for us at stonewall!"

But obviously that's NOT all trannies, as you know, being a het trannie :) and I think all trannies can fit into the lgbt movement, if they want. The way I see it is that "lgbt" stuff is a name for coalitions between gays, bis, and trannies. like, there's a bi movement, and a trans movement, (or lots of smaller bi and trans movements, really), and then there are lgbt groups that look at our similarities and try to fight for one another.

And part of the reason for that is that a *lot* of homophobia is a kind of transphobia - where people kill the butch dykes or the fairy boys because they're not doing gender "right" so "everyone knows" they're queer and need to get bashed.

And part of the reason for it is that biphobia and transphobia are also linked - through a fear of gender fluidity, of what it means if gender is not the sole definition of who you are and who you can fuck and what you can look like.

and part is that biphobia and homophobia are linked - through a fear of people who fuck the wrong folks, who fuck people with the same genitals as them, or who don't fucking care what their lover's genitals look like. We're all linked as people who fuck all the rules, whether it's because we're too swishy or too butch or too kinky or too wrongly genitalled. Even if we don't call ourselves queer or wear leather or pierce ourselves in funny places or fuck anyone at all.

::grin:: and as for hetero CDs and TVs, i dunno... i don't think all the numbers are in yet. i'm still placing my bets on all the genderqueers, just for having a wider net of definitions to catch people in.

-aidan, who is EXTREMELY WORDY today