This seems more relevant now that this whole “cotton ceiling” thing has gone around.
I’m done identifying as “Trans*”. I’m done trying to force my way into these movements and groups that are so overwhlemingly white. I’ve already spent three years trying to, I don’t plan to spend the next ten or twenty doing the same. I’m exhausted from fighting for acceptance outside of the trans* group, I don’t see any need to keep fighting within that group. I don’t see why I should try to be included in a space that works so ardently to keep me and people like me out. It’s a waste of my time, and I believe it will ultimately be hurtful to myself and others like me.
Don’t be surprised, the entire trans “consciousness” comes from a place of incredible whiteness. Not only from its attempts for inclusion within the lesbian and gay movements, but within its discourse. Kate Bornstein, Leslie Feinberg, Riki Wilchins, S. Bear Bergman, and Julia Serano are all white. The people defining my identity and supposed community are all white, we share nothing in terms of culture or ideology. In fact, the reason I celebrated finding Feinberg and Bornstein was because they were such a good alternative to the dominant, ALSO incredibly white, narrative when I was first coming to terms with my gender. This is like rejoicing at finding a band-aid after being stabbed, because the dominant narrative had me questioning all the time what I was, whether I was trans enough, whether I was feminine enough to even be trans, all that bullshit. I didn’t feel any kind of peace within myself until I read Gloria Anzaldua’s “Borderlands/La Frontera” at UTEP. Until then, I had been combing through what Feinberg and Bornstein had written in hopes of making sense of my gender.
And if I remember right, Jameson Green said that the term “transgender” was thought up by Virginia Prince, someone who didn’t believe people should have access to surgeries, and who denied gay men and transwomen entry into the organizations she created. Why would I chose to use a label to describe myself that was created by someone who would hate means hate my use of it? Ignoring that history is one of the most problematic things I could do, and I’m not accommodating or excusing anyone by contributing to that. In fact, the only word I really identify with is “Mestiz@”, and within that I don’t need a signifier for my gender, the “@” does that for me. To me, that single letter, or symbol, I guess, shows how I am a combination of male of female, and how my understanding of “male” and “female” are based in Chicanism@.Ademas, the people who I look up to as my TPOC ancestors didn’t identify as Trans*. Even Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson identified as drag queens and transvestites. Y Sylvia even said in an entrevista that she only identifies as herself. We, and I do mean ‘we’ because I’ve done this myself, ascribe transness to her postmortem because that’s the understanding of the space she occupied that we have today. Maybe she would have argued with that. So my history isn’t something I share with white trans people, and with that goes my last theoretical connection to white trans people. Because really, we have no more in common than I do with the average white cis person, except for some of our medical histories. I realize this means that I’ll have to create a community for myself, to find new ways of defining myself that don’t exist in white queerness, and I intend to. I will (re)create a space in Latinidad for myself and people like me. And I will never give up on that.
I’m going to continue my work. I’m going to keep working for Trans* rights and TPOC. I’m going to dedicate my life to doing everything I can to help those communities, because it’s the least they need. It’s the least I can do.
So nothing’s different, really, except now everyone knows. And everyone saw me call you out.
La BambaRitchie Valens
Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
Although his music career lasted only eight months, his musical legacy and importance in the Mexican-American music movement and the Eastside Sound will live on forever.
They call it “The Day The Music Died” but for me Ritchie’s death was in part the beginning of my record collecting and for many young Chicanos it would be a launching-pad that would inspire the evolution of the Eastside Sound.
Ritchie will always be remembered as his music and legend are passed on from generation to generation.
My goodness, senior year already???
It truly feels like just last semester, I walked into PNCA. So much has happened within these past years and I have met so many amazing friends and dedicated people. I cherish it all!
Within my family, I am a first generation college student. I am living the dream that which mi familia y mi gente have historically been excluded from— further, the dream for which they and so many others fought and struggled so hard to make reality. Not some exclusive and so-called American dream but a dream of education, self-determination, liberation of the soul, y paz. A dream that which all too many are still excluded from, whether by race, class, gender, and/or sexuality.