Speaker for the Diodes - March 27th, 2017

Mar. 27th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"It's not that trans women have only existed the last thirty years, it's that you have been intentionally denied knowledge of our history by reactionaries who want to see us dead." -- Tumblt user thetolerantleft, responding to somebody's assertion that "there's no history or frans people more than 30 years ago". (Apparently Jan or Feb 2017? Maybe Mar? I found a response / amplification by songofages, dated 2017-03-13)

[The example thetolerantleft uses us Hirschfeld's work being destroyed by the (original) Nazis in 1933. Note that our history goes back much farther than that if you mean "the history of people like us" rather than "people labelled and thought of in the same ways as we are", since the social construction of gender -- and thus the social construction of or awareness/unawareness of trans and nonbinary gender phenomena -- is dependent on time and place. But yeah, even if you limit it to a western and modern understanding of what gender is, our history goes a far back as it is meaningful to look. One of my pet peeves is people who argue that we have to be patient with cis people who don't understand or accept transgenderism because "It's so new, and people aren't used to it yet -- most folks only started hearing about it when [pick the most recent of these at the time of the conversation: Christine Jorgensen | Renee Richards | Jan Morris | Chaz Bono | Lynn Conway | Laverne Cox | Caitlyn Jenner | Lana Wachowski | Wendy Carlos | Caroline Cossey] became famous / came out / was outed! It takes time for people to get used to these ideas!" Even if we only look at celebrities, our history goes back quite a bit more than thirty years. each time this argument is used it seems like everyone simply forgot about the last time everybody was talking about a trans celebrity. So it's not that trans people are "too new" or that most of the culture just hasn't had time to wrap their heads around our existence; it's that certain segments of the population keep editing us out of their awareness after hearing about us and talking about us for a while. (In the last half century, fortunately not usually in so direct and physical a manner as the Nazis did. (But if you look earlier, to the age of colonization, there are plenty of additional institutional and violent examples.)) We have a history. We even have a history of trans celebrities in mainstream-culture's spotlight. Don't make excuses for the people who don't want to deal with the fact that we exist.]

(Leave a comment)
Previous day (Calendar) Next day