Change Your World-NOT your Body

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Can you afford to ID as Trans?

My Friend My Friend (anne sexton)

Who will forgive me for the things I do?
With no special legend of God to refer to,
With my calm white pedigree, my yankee kin,
I think it would be better to be a Jew.


I forgive you for what you did not do.
I am impossibly guilty. Unlike you,
My Friend, I can not blame my origin
With no special legend or God to refer to.


They wear The Crucifix as they are meant to do.
Why do their little crosses trouble you?
The effigies that I have made are genuine,
(I think it would be better to be a Jew).


Watching my mother slowly die I knew
My first release. I wish some ancient bugaboo
Followed me. But my sin is always my sin.
With no special legend or God to refer to.


Who will forgive me for the things I do?
To have your reasonable hurt to belong to
Might ease my trouble like liquor or aspirin.
I think it would be better to be a Jew.


And if I lie, I lie because I love you,
Because I am bothered by the things I do,
Because your hurt invades my calm white skin:
With no special legend or God to refer to,
I think it would be better to be a Jew.


This is a very interesting issue I have not seen discussed about the trans community or in the trans community.

No sillys, not the poem itself, but the plight of the speaker in the poem. The speaker's "yankee" whiteness and lack of belonging to a long standing historical suffering where she can lay down the burden of her own suffering and connect to something greater than herself, thereby becoming something greater herself creates in her a kinda of "identity psychosis". In her need to have/be a part of a "special legend" she would willingly give up her identity.

In predominant white anglo saxon countries such as the US or Britain or Canada, white privilege prevents the historical suffering the speaker (US) wishes to connect with. For all intents and purposes the speaker suffers from a bad case of "special snowflake syndrome". But while her "calm white pedigree" grants her accesses and privileges, it also alienates her from a shared suffering common to minorities, albeit forcing her to suffer alone. Which is not only a lonely place to occupy, BUT no one is around to witness your "specialness".


About 30 years after the second world war we began to see the beginnings of a neo-nazi movement that has since continued to grow/flourish, primarily among middle class white male youths for much of the same reasons as our speaker complains. As women and other minorities began demanding their fair share of the white heteropatriarchal pie AND sampling a few of the hard earned won crumbs, white males began feeling less than the "special" Gods gift to women and minorities which has assumed a kind of rootlessness in middle class hetero white males and leading some to a full fledged identity crisis.

Is it merely a coincidence that the volume of those suffering from trannyism are WHITE STRAIGHT MIDDLE CLASS MEN???? That the trannyism disorder is an identity disorder grown out of the "special snowflake syndrome"??? Why among the GLBT is the trans group the only group that primarily consists of heteropatriarchal middle/upper middle class white males??? Where are all the poor minority gay men with this disorder? Where are the numbers of minority females with this disorder? Could it be that this is a disorder of race and class? That most who cannot afford (non wealthy hetero whites) this disorder will likely never develop it???

I've personally witnessed infighting within various trans communities of what exactly constitutes as trans by trans. Have seen with my own eyes men telling other men who IDed as trans-women but stated they couldnt afford to begin "medically transitioning" that they were in fact NOT trans until they have electrolysis/female hormones/SRS/FSS etc! Bascially declaring if you cannot afford to "transition" you cannot in effect BE trans! And like everything else in our patriarchal society the majority those who have most of the power and money are WHITE HETEROPATRIARCHAL MALES! So should we be surprised at all that highest number of trans ID'd are WHITE HETEROPATRIARCHAL MIDDLE CLASS MALES???? I think not!

More of this trans/white/class/hetero issue will be explored and more questions answered regarding this issue in the near future by the New Radical Lesbian Feminist Front. The NRLFF website will be coming soon to a town near you!

dirt
NRLFF member
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3 comments:

  1. Where are all the poor minority gay men with this disorder? Where are the numbers of minority females with this disorder? Could it be that this is a disorder of race and class? That most who cannot afford (non wealthy hetero whites) this disorder will likely never develop it???

    You raise some excellent points, but I do have to say that living in NYC I see plenty of poor, trans folk of color having to fight Medicaid for their hormones and surgeries.

    But then I see plenty of young, poor gay men of color go on and off hormones and change their names often to go back to being boys. In the past, they were just seen as playing dress up for the balls.

    But on the flip side many young lesbians I've met either don't know what a trans guy is or just don't understand what would make a female hate herself to the point of wanting to be a dude.

    There are plenty of genderbenders in every culture and status. I think that more people of color and people who can't afford the surgery are more likely to work harder to accept themselves as being somewhere between genders.

    I wonder if it's because they didn't grow up believing the world was theirs to alter as they saw fit. It's also reflective of these times. Everybody can do what they want and put it on their credit card.

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  2. Transsexualism isnt "gender-bending", its adhering to the binary to the nth degree.

    The "everybody-can-do-what-they-want" is a product of queer theory which has kicked its way into gay and lesbian spaces, particularly lesbian spaces. And lesbians are suppose to just accept this non sense and if they do not they are labeled somethingphobic.

    dirt

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  3. When I refer to genderbenders in other cultures, I'm talking about people like the sworn virgins of the Balkins or the Brazilian travesti. People who have lived outside the binary for many years without resorting to surgery to "become" something they're not. Not necessarily "transsexuals" because that is a Western concept developed very recently in our history.

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