Embarcadero

Originally posted by Maria Catt at The Tusk

I wanted out of my skin and my life.

But now I knew fantasies are their own thing altogether. They have barely a tangential relationship to potential futures. It’s important not to get confused about this.

I knew what would happen if I threw myself in the Bay was that I’d start screaming from the cold, someone would fish me out, they’d take me to a hospital, keep me for being suicidal, call my parents, who were 2,000 miles away, and I’d pay hospital bills ’til I was in my forties.

Or worse, I’d drown. There were people, I could list the names, that would say, “Ooofff, saw that one coming.” Other people, lots of them, who never knew me,  would think, “Yep, trans people kill themselves,” and they’d cite statistics in my obituary and I would still just be a billboard, emblazoned and tagged, even deader than I felt looking out at the Bay.

Being a woman had felt like I was trapped behind a symbol, hollering from behind the billboard for people to interact with me as I really was, a person with ego, desires, the ability to observe, the ability to describe; a fully fleshed out character. But then that’s also what being a trans guy felt like: still only a symbol for people to react to, and their reactions had everything to do with my appearance and very little to do with who I was. All I could learn through our interactions was the imagined story they were living out– women proving their desirability, men proving their mastery of games of dominance, saviors proving their tolerance for poor, weird me.

Continue reading…

Advertisements

The New Backlash: Introduction

Originally posted at The New Backlash

‘[T]ransgender” identity politics are not about the human rights of transsexual people. Transgender identity politics are about men weaponizing the suffering of transsexual people in order to destroy women’s boundaries and undermine basic feminist analysis.”

Continue reading…

When Lesbians Become Targets: Leeds Queerfest 2015

Recently a group of people in Leeds decided to create and promote an event called the Queer Leeds Fest. It was described as “an entire fun weekend of the best things, in the best place, with the best people” and the promotion for the event included a schedule of activities. I was interested and so read through what would be included, but was shocked to see that one activity was called the “TERF dartboard.” After looking further I discovered that event organizers intended to set up a dartboard with the photographs of specific, real women on it and encourage participants to throw darts at those photos. The women pictured in those photos are all lesbians.

Read more…

Am I transgender….?

Originally published at A Feminist Roars

If I accepted your worldview I would be under the transgender umbrella. I’d be genderqueer, agender or maybe even bigender.

Thing is, I don’t accept your worldview. I don’t believe that genderqueer, agender or ‘whatever the hell you like’ gender are useful descriptive categories. In fact I think the opposite. I reject the ideology that comes with queer theory, particularly the incessant obsession with pigeon holing and shoving people into labels and rigid boxes. I know the history. I see how it’s embracing neoliberalism, the primacy of the individual and centering men’s rights. I see how harmful it is to women. I think it’s regressive bullshit.

Continue reading…

Same as it ever was . . .

Originally posted at Hypotaxis

[W]e’ve reached a place where media “leaders” for the LGBT community openly mock dykes on social media, and laugh at the notion of rape culture. We’ve come to a place where lesbian sexuality is co-opted by straight women and straight men, and where actual lesbians are called hateful bigots when they won’t play the queer game. Young women are groomed to despise second wave feminists (never mind the many basic rights ALL women enjoy because of fights our elder sisters tirelessly fought), feminists like Germaine Greer (who I think is marvelous, and kudos to her for not drinking the Kool-Aid or apologizing for being a feminist – an actual, women-first, feminist), and previously non-controversial figures like Eve Ensler are made out to be hateful devil women because they don’t make males the CENTER OF EVERYTHING.

Continue reading…

Everything is problematic

Originally posted at The McGill Daily

I’ve been a queer activist since I was 17. I grew up in a socially conservative rural town where people would shout homophobic slurs at me from the windows of their pickup trucks. My brushes with anti-gay hatred intimidated me, but they also lit a fire in me. In my last year of high school, I resolved to do whatever I could to make a change before I graduated and left town for good. I felt like I had a duty to help other queer kids who were too scared to come out or who had feelings of self-hatred. I gave an impassioned speech about tolerance at a school assembly, flyered every hallway and classroom, and started a group for LGBTQ students and allies.

Not long after, I was exposed to the ideas of Judith Butler, a bold and penetrating mix of third-wave feminism and queer theory. I saw truth in Butler’s radical perspective on gender, and it felt liberating. My lifelong discomfort with being put in a box — a binary gender category — was vindicated. This is when my passion for feminism began in earnest. I put a bumper sticker on my car that said “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History.” I bought a subscription to Bitch magazine. When it came time to graduate and move on to McGill, I eagerly enrolled in a class on feminist theory, as well as a class in Sexual Diversity Studies, the subject that would later become my minor.

Continue reading…