This is me: Devin-Norelle an androgynous identifying, person of trans- masculine
experience. My body, my transition, my passing privilege is desirable
among many. But I AM NOT what trans looks like. I am not other trans/gnc folks who have no desire for hormones, or surgery.
I am not the person who lacks the opportunity to obtain hormones or
will never be capable of embodying certain passing privileges. I am sometimes not the non-passing gender-fluid person who is harassed on the street because of their ambiguity.
I am not a representation of all trans folx, nor will I ever be.
The trans masculine community & some of it’s visible leaders are
sometimes so enthralled by cisgender conforming standards. We tend to
celebrate one prosaic representation: masculine bodies, men with visible
beards,and folx that pass. But the trajectory of our individual
lives, & our actual lived experiences are indefinite; each of us
eclipses these materialistic standards.
My shero @lavernecox
said, “We need diverse media representations of trans folks to multiply
trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities.”
I’d like to add the inclusion of diversity isn’t limited to just the
media. Following in the footsteps of Laverne and Janet, trans-masc
leaders can do more to acknowledge the abundance of gender identities
& expressions Let’s transition the conversation. Uplift the
narratives of those who don’t fit the definition of “normal.” Reject
exclusionary dialogue of identities. It is easy to blend in. It takes
strength to stand up in solidarity with folx who have no voice or lost
their voice in death because they were not deemed acceptable.
Normalize non-conforming beauty standards. Include more representation
for the disability community. Bring more attention to femme, trans femme & AMAB folx who are constantly victims of violence. Discuss
how trans-masculine folx can elevate trans-fem folx. Hold dialogue about
the shortage of hormones, especially of estrogen, & how this is
Lets celebrate our diversity. Let’s celebrate our
lives. Let’s celebrate our beauty. Let’s celebrate striving to be our
most authentic selves, regardless of the path taken or not taken.
This^ IS what Trans look like. We are trans men. We are trans women. We are gender non-conforming. We are bigender. We are agender. We are of different ethnicities and racial backgrounds. We exists in all shapes in sizes. Our gender presentations may vary, our identities are fluid, our expressions are unique, but we are all beautiful. “Trans people are exactly who they say they are, no matter what the culture or media would lead us to believe.” -@JanetMock
This too is what trans looks likes. Often times, trans is a story of sorrow, loss, pain and suffering. Many Trans women of color (TWOC) have lost their lives at the hands of others simply for living their truth. Their deaths are daily reminders that trans lives are not valued. Trans Women of Color in particular are subjected to such violence because they are black (or POC), are often times living below poverty, do not have access to certain health care that would help them pass, or are victims of transmisogyny (transphobia + sexism).
Several women have been killed because because of the false stereotype that they are gay men attempting to deceive straight men. The alarming rates of their deaths is also evidence that the most marginalized people of society are discriminated against for their existence.
19 Trans people have died this year, including 14 Trans women of color. The women above were killed during the summer of 2016. The deaths of these beautiful people become more difficult to read about each time, but their narratives are part of our truth and must be told.
#SayTheirNames (Above) Rest in Power Rae'Lynn Thomas, Erykah Tijernia, Skyee Mockabee, Dee Whigham, Deeniquia Dodds, Goddess Diamond, Mercedes Successful, Tyreece ‘Reecey’ Walker.
Trans Feminine refers to anyone with a feminine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned female at birth. This includes male-to-female transwomen, feminine-identified genderqueers, and others whose fabulousness cannot be defined.
Trans Masculine refers to anyone with a masculine-of-center identity, especially those not assigned male at birth. This includes female-to-male transmen, masculine-identified genderqueers, and others whose fabulousness cannot be defined. (source linked)
the negative attitudes, expressed through cultural hate, individual and state violence, and discrimination directed toward trans women and trans and gender non-conforming people on the feminine end of the gender spectrum.
In the final chapter of Redefining Realness, I actually quote Oprah Winfrey: “You are a composite of all the things you believe, and all the places you believe you can go. Your past does not define you. You can step out of your history and create a new day for yourself. Even if the entire culture is saying, ‘You can’t.’ Even if every single possible bad thing that can happen to you does. You can keep going forward.”
This is a full circle moment for me, and I’m humbled to be sharing it with you. I’ll bewatching live and live-tweeting using the hashtag #SuperSoulSunday.
SPECIAL EPISODE: Janet Mock on transgender rights, Mychal Denzel Smith on war, Tupac, and Ninja Turtles
Author Janet Mock (@janetmock) joins the show to discuss transgender rights, and Mychal Denzel Smith (@mychalsmith) sits in to discuss Iraq, ISIS, war, Tupac’s dying words, the GOP refusing to expand Medicaid, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
@janetmock laughing w/ ATL QTPOC Honey, she said everything I needed in my personal and political life. One day our paths will cross again. Just as Janet worked on her truth until it was time to speak truth to power, so shall I #janetmock #redefiningrealness #qtpoc #atlanta #agnesscott #queer #trans #leaderstories #black #femmesofcolor #femmesofcolorvisibility
Why We Need To Still Be Talking about Janet Mock on Super Soul Sunday
Sunday, New York Times bestselling author, MSNBC host, transgender advocate (and all-around super-heroine), Janet Mock was on the season finale of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday for a conversation about her powerful journey, the importance of speaking your truth and becoming the person you were always meant to be.
If I was a record I’d play that back, because I’m not completely convinced that the world has picked-up on just how powerful this segment with Janet Mock was for us. But since I’m not a record, let me simply write it again — Janet Mock (a fierce, young, black, transgender woman, up against many systemic barriers) appeared as a thought-leader on Oprah’s two-time Emmy award winning daytime self-help talk show, Super Soul Sunday,
“To make any trans person a symbol for an entire community is an unfair task. No one can speak about the varying, intersecting and layered ways in which trans people experience the world. That is why it’s necessary to create a space for nuance and to amplify the voices of those who often are not heard.”
“What enables Jenner to penetrate media the way she has is privilege…It doesn’t make her a bad person. It doesn’t make her undeserving. It doesn’t underwrite her talent, savvy and accomplishments. Privilege enables her access to more conversations, more opportunities, more spaces which can appear as if she’s eclipsed leaders of a movement that has been active for decades, fueled by a community that is ravaged by economic instability, lack of access to knowledgable affordable healthcare, overpoliciing and incarceration, stigmatized, criminalized survival economies like sex work, high HIV infection rates, the ability to live safely and freely as their true selves, and disproportionate violence against trans women of color.”
“Not all trans people care about putting people at ease. Let me be clear about that. Yet for many, presentation is vital and essential, especially for trans women where blending in is a matter of safety. To be able to make your way through a world that so often carries so much resentment, intolerance and misunderstanding about trans people, ‘looking the part’ as Jenner says, is a life-saving privilege, one that many trans people due to economic barriers or the randomness of genetics and puberty frankly will never be able to access.”
This is why understanding the critical theory of transness, why liberating transness is so important to do, and why it is that my timetable on releasing that very thing was moved up.
Want to know why you are, in fact, transphobic, Mr. Morgan?
Or will you cling to a defensiveness that you, yourself, know nothing about?
You do not get a free pass anymore.
No more of my sisters are going to stand for it.
No more are we to be asked for our medical information, nor will our genitals be the topic of your prurient gaze, your lurid objectification, your pathetic and thoughtless pandering.
Chris Geidner, thank you for running Janet Mock’s response and showing both her and Laverne Cox’s image. I am blessed to be friends with all of you.
Like far too many of my brothers, sisters, and siblings, the constant interest in things that only the rudest would ask, that only the most hateful would focus on, that reduce us to parts and pieces, after 60 years of the same, over and over again, I am sick of it.
I will not defend the ideas of those both within and without the Trans Community who would think that a question of the sort those of us of color have had to put up with for generations is “fair” or natural or merely an aspect of curiosity.
It is not an excuse, and all too often it is merely a part of a larger system that seeks to tell us what our place is, that pushes us into the edges and the margins, that invokes images of purpose for sex, of existence for others, and of trite misogyny that tells us that women’s bodies do not belong to them, as well as bespeaking the falsehood that is our lives are divided and fashioned by a knife.
Critical theory is the creation and tool and power of brilliance that people of color have fashioned. The time has come for the political theory of transness, for the liberation of our lives from the stranglehold of anxiety, aversion, and animus.
Now we will take this moment, I and my brothers and my sisters and my siblings, and we shall stand resolute against such puerile and salacious pushes.
Tweet to the universe: there will be no more genitals be spoken until all people are asked of such.
Got my entire life returning to a subject I love, POP CULTURE, yesterday, during my first solo hosting segment on HuffPost Live, where I discussed Beyonce’s TIME Cover, Scandal’s Columbus Short, Jon Hamm’s penis plea and of course Lupita’s Most Beautiful honor!
These spaces, even though they’re supposed to be welcoming, safe spaces, they still are infected by the ills that all other spaces are - racism and misogyny and elitism and classism, academia jargon and all of this stuff. These spaces aren’t immune. If you come into these spaces knowing that and your job is to come in and make it a better space.
Trans Day of Visibility is so important! Here are some inspiring trans women of color that I’ve met within the last year! lavernecox janetmock Miss Major. Monica Roberts. labrujamorgan Aaryn Lang. llerretchernobiko Cece McDonald. Sikora. <3
TSER director Eli Erlick’s comments on Piers Morgan’s transphobic statements were featured in the LA Times: “…people in the media seem to think that just because they aren’t openly attacking trans people that they have the right to say whatever they want. Piers Morgan is the perfect example of that. Just because he is not openly shaming Janet doesn’t mean he’s not saying transphobic things.” Click here to read the article.
Tolerance, what Morgan seems to have for trans women, is not good enough. We need justice and it will not come from people "tolerating” us. Trans women, especially trans women of color, face unique hardships that tolerance will not help. When Morgan actually takes the initiative to apologize to Mock, we will be sure to mail him one of these:
“Stunning. Two people loving each other is enough and shouldn’t be a symbol for anything beyond that love. The love is enough and a wonderful gift. I am not a chick who is into weddings and the institution of marriage for me personally but @janetmock and Aaron this is a beautiful sight. A black trans woman having a cis straight identified black man publicly declare his love for her and making it all official and legal and stuff gives me and I know so many black trans women out there hope that our versions of true love are possible.
But the love is enough. You two finding each other is enough. Congrats you two. I am so happy for you. Sending lots and lots of love from the main land.”