neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

thinking about the T

I know Kris is involved in the collaborative "Embrace the Rainbow" project.  I find it a very positive thing that so many readers of m/m romance are now educating themselves on trans/genderqueer issues.  I think they're now at the point in America where Civil Rights were in the 1950s or so.  The prejudice is known by the people themselves, and there are some allies in various places.  Getting cleared for having surgery involves being labeled as having a psychiatric disorder, or so it was last time I heard.  So much is medicalized, not just the obvious.  Being trans is thought of as more of a condition, rather than thinking of the person.

This is speaking as someone who doesn't feel terribly out of place in her body.  I come across as much more feminine than I feel on the inside, and I used to be happier about being a woman, for various reasons.  Still, I don't have gender issues to any significant degree.  My internal and external genders match, so I'm coming from a place of cis-privilege.  At least I know that.

Employment is a big issue for folks who are transgendered or genderqueer.  From what I understand, a fair number of transwomen end up working as sex workers to get money for hormones and surgery.  There are a lot who end up working as sex workers because they've been kicked out of their homes.  That's only a facet of it.  There are those who transition while they're working a job that's not illegal, but there's nothing protecting them against getting harassed or fired.  Again, so I understand.

For some, it's dangerous to walk on the streets.  They might count the "What are you?" question as one of the less harassing things that happens to them, dehumanizing as that is.  Transwomen of color are murdered at a pretty high rate as compared to the general population.  The suicide rate of trans youth is quite high as well.

It's not all bad news.  There are support groups out there, and a growing recognition of the issues.  It's political now.  More transmen are choosing to disclose for political reasons, which leads to more education.  There are pretty good arguments about the "T" being tacked on to LGBT with a lot of groups, but there's also genuine support from a number of people who identify as gay, lesbian and bi, and from straight, cis-gendered allies.  I don't believe there's that much awareness of the issues among the general public, but there is among those who identify themselves as queer.

So there you have the viewpoint of someone who's coming from a place of privilege in a number of ways, in a Western world perspective, because that's the perspective I have.
Tags: glbt

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