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"A feminist critic is really important for men, I’ve been saying this for years. Men really need to be engaged in a feminist politic or they’re going to be just as oppressed by patriarchy and these ideas of what it means to be a man and masculinity that keeps them in whatever closet they choose to be in." - Laverne Cox on The Stigma of Loving Transgender Women (x)

People assume that I was in the closet because I didn’t disclose that I was assigned male at birth. What people are really asking is ‘Why didn’t you correct people when they perceived you as a real woman?’ Frankly, I’m not responsible for other people’s perceptions and what they consider real or fake. We must abolish the entitlement that deludes us into believing we have the right to make assumptions about people’s identities and project those assumptions onto their gender and bodies.

It is not a woman’s duty to disclose she’s trans to every person she meets. This is not safe for a myriad of reasons. We must shift the burden of coming out from trans women, and accusing them of hiding or lying, and focus on why it is unsafe for women to be trans.
—  Janet Mock, Redefining Realness.
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i made this comic after a series of frustrating conversations in which dudes told me to ‘learn to take a joke’ instead of getting upset about transphobia in the media.  i laugh a lot, but i’m not gonna laugh at anything that dehumanizes me.  because its not just a show, its my whole life.  these are just some moments from the last ten years.  i could go on.  but also, yay comics!  :D

I don’t believe transphobia alone exists. I believe it’s very layered. Misogyny and sexism within the LGBT community needs to be checked as well. I think we tend to devalue the voices and experiences of women, period.
— 

Janet Mock in interview with Will O’Bryan

Go figure, not just us tumblr types (which I claim proudly) talking about how “transphobia” isn’t adequate to describe the situation of trans women, and isn’t accurate to describe the situation of trans men.

Seni. 1:

A picture of a shirtless man is common. A picture of a shirtless woman is either art or pornographic.

A shirtless man on the street is common. A shirtless woman on the street would be arrested.

A shirtless picture of me today falls in the second criteria. I’m art, porn and crime. A shirtless picture of me some time from now will be ok. Acceptable. Because I will no longer have a “female body”. 

Regardless of my body I am a man. A trans man. And I would rip the fat out of my chest if I could. I bind it everyday. I will lose it some day. But until then, I’ll fight for equality with the ones that torture me the most. 

Ass: Seni

"Models": Antares and Seni

http://donaligeirinha.tumblr.com

http://senienis.tumblr.com/

so here is what happens to me when we do the ‘urinals’ vs ‘no urinals’ bathroom setup.  it becomes an opportunity to out me, make assumptions about my genitals, essentialize my gender according to my birth sex, and push me into the men’s room.  this is actually what happens to me when we do this.  let’s not do this, ok?  spread the word.

Anyone trying to tell trans women that their quality of life while closeted was improved because they lived in a patriarchy (a patriarchy which actively tried to destroy them and remake them in its image), for instance, is making a sick and violent joke.

I felt validated when people stated I was exceptional or unique or that I was not the norm. Basking in these proclamations, I soon realized something was amiss: If I’m the exception, the so-called standard of success, then where does that leave the sisters I grew up with on the streets of Honolulu who didn’t ‘make it’?


Being exceptional isn’t revolutionary, it’s lonely. It separates you from your community. Who are you, really, without community? I have been held up consistently as a token, as the ‘right’ kind of trans woman (educated, able-bodied, attractive, articulate, heteronormative). It promotes the delusion that because I ‘made it,’ that level of success is easily accessible to all young trans women. Let’s be clear: It is not.

—  Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More.
transmisogyny is patriarchy

fear and hatred of trans women is absolutely central to patriarchy.  it underlies the most common acts of homophobia - every time someone gets called a faggot or bashed for being an effeminate male.  it underlies the violent construction of masculinity - the orders to man up, don’t be a pussy, don’t act ‘like a woman.’  fear of trans women is the specter that our culture congers up to stifle empathy for women in little boys.  it is used to demean and dismiss strong women both cis and trans.

to support transmisogyny, or to fail to support trans women, is to strengthen one of the central pillars of patriarchy.  transmisogyny is a patriarchal act.  it doesn’t matter who is doing it, the effect is to support patriarchy.

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth is the first film biography of writer and activist Alice Walker. Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple for which she won a Pulitzer Prize, Walker was raised in poverty in the rural South during the violent and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America. Women, poverty and civil rights became the inherent themes in her writing. “I’m not a lesbian, or a bisexual, or straight,” Walker says in the film. “I’m curious. If you’re truly living life, how could you not be?”

Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson

This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson who was a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and saint. With her final interview from 1992, director Michael Kasino captures the legendary human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s, and a New York City activist throughout the ’80s and early ’90s.

Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100

Born July 23, 1899, in Springfield, Illinois, Ruth Ellis was the oldest “out” African American lesbian known. The film offers a rare opportunity to experience a century of our American history as lived by one inspiring woman. By example, Ruth Ellis shows us what is possible and what can be realized, if one not only lives long and ages well but also lives with pride. Ruth Ellis died at home peacefully in her sleep on October 5, 2000. She was 101.

We're Not Cis Boys and We Never Will Be

Pro-tip: If you aren’t a trans woman don’t think that you are capable of knowing how we’re treated as children. You will literally be wrong every time because you don’t know. Trans girls =/= cis boys. We don’t internalize things the same way, we don’t get treated the same, and it’s absolutely asinine to say that we are somehow privileged by the very thing that is actually killing us.

The argument that trans girls are male privileged because people can mistake us to be cis boys makes about as much sense as saying a lesbian is privileged because she can be mistaken for being straight. We still have a deep seated internal identity of female. We are still bombarded by cultural messages about women through numerous mediums and we still internalize those messages as women. [TW for sexual assault in the links] Growing up as a trans girl can be incredibly traumatic, That trauma and systemic oppression is directly caused by patriarchy and how we are mistaken for men. It literally can not be a function of male privilege. We can not be privileged by one of the things that traumatizes us.

For a similar example, I’m parsed everyday as a cis woman. Are you going to tell me that I have cis privilege because I look like a cis woman and people treat me as one if I don’t out myself? I still have dysphoria. I still see the transmisogyny in media without end. I am still effected by transmisogynistic laws. The bottom line is that I am still trans and I can not escape that, no matter how I look, I am oppressed by transmisogyny. Just like how just because I am a femme does not mean I have het privilege cause I don’t “look like a lesbian”. I am still oppressed by lesbophobia.

We don’t become trans, or stop being cis. For many of us we have been and always will be trans girls. If you are trying to hold trans girls accountable for something that we have never held you are being a transmisogynist.

The idea that privilege solely stems from how other people perceive you is almost only used to talk about trans people and that alone should be an obvious tell that a lie is being told. This also all ties deeply into the socialization “debate”. If you wouldn’t say “het raised lesbian”, or “able raised disabled person”, or “sexual raised asexual” why on earth do you think it’s okay to call trans women “male raised”?

It should be blatantly obvious how suspicious that is. Maybe it’s because I’m a trans woman who gets to live this daily but it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out that for no other group do you suddenly talk about how others having perceived them makes them less of X social class. Obviously you might talk about how compared to others in a group someone might benefit from not being read a certain way, like I’m less at risk for a public confrontation because I “look like a cishet” woman. That doesn’t negate my membership to the social classes of transgender and lesbian though.

Stop assuming that all trans women were “raised cis”. No we’re not cis people and we weren’t raised like cis people because we internalize things differently. If individual trans women feel that they were raised as a cis boy and need to work on their male socialization good for them but stop painting that as the norm. It’s not accurate and it’s incredibly harmful. We’re not cis boys and we never will be.