I need someone that I can be playful with. Someone that won’t get mad at me if I spray them with water when I’m washing dishes. Someone who will talk shit right back to me when I’m being a sarcastic asshole. Someone who doesn’t take life too seriously.
It makes me so sad to see queer people hating Layne when literally ALL she is trying to say is that queer female voices should be more important in queer female spaces than straight male voices. Like to all the queer girls out there…how could you NOT agree with what she’s saying? She’s saying that her voice, and that YOUR voice, is more important in queer spaces than a straight ally’s. She is literally fighting for our right to be heard and listened to and you are shitting on her for it.
When activists marching with Black Lives Matter temporarily disrupted Toronto’s Pride parade earlier this summer, some of the people in Natasha Adsit’s life were furious.
Acquaintances in Vancouver’s LGBTQ2 community told her they were outraged that the protesters had the gall to stop “our” parade.
“I said, ‘But who’s our?’ Human rights means all humans, or else you’re actually becoming a bigot,” she said.
Adsit is 43 years old, aboriginal and transgender. When Black Lives Matter, often called BLM, asked Toronto’s Pride organizers to do more to include people of colour and block police from marching in future parades, she knew exactly where they were coming from. Like them, she has often felt excluded from mainstream gay and transgender activism, and encounters with the police have left her feeling uncomfortable about marching alongside officers.
She supports BLM’s Vancouver chapter, which wrote an open letter earlier this month asking the Vancouver police to agree to a reduced presence in the parade, and for the Vancouver Pride Society to take “concrete action” to be more inclusive of black people, First Nations people and other people of colour.
Just like the BLM activists and other people of colour who’ve spoken out in recent weeks, Adsit believes the LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit) movement can’t afford to become complacent after making so much progress. That means working vigilantly to make sure every queer and trans person is afforded the same respect, safety and opportunities, even if they don’t look like Caitlyn Jenner or Neil Patrick Harris.
Cishet is a word coined by trans people for trans people.
Now, the first thing you need to understand is, trans people do not have straight privilege. Trans identity is seen as inherently non-straight by straight people. Trans people cannot get straight privilege simply by having the requisite attractions and lack of attractions.
That’s why there’s a T in LGBT, an acronym that’s otherwise about non-straight people: trans people are oppressed by straight people.
But trans people aren’t just oppressed by straight people. Trans people are also oppressed by everyone who isn’t trans–cis people. These are two separate, but related, axes of oppression, and trans people are at the bottom of both.
Sometimes trans people need to talk about everyone who oppresses them, in general–that’s where you get cis people.
And sometimes trans people need to talk about people who not only oppress them on that axis (cis/trans), but also oppress them on the other relevant axis (straight/nonstraight). That’s where you get cishet people. Cishet people have the power to fuck up trans people and the wider nonstraight community they depend on. Cishet people are dangerous in ways mere cis people aren’t. But cishet people nevertheless get most of their power from being cis.
Cis nonstraight people going around saying “Fuck cishets” are saying “Fuck people who are privileged over me for being straight,” a perfectly fine statement, and “Fuck people who are privileged over me for being cis,” a load of errant nonsense.
That’s why cis nonstraight people need to stop using cishet to describe their oppressors. Straight is a perfectly fine word–trans people aren’t going to get caught in it; we’re not straight. And if you want to talk about everyone outside the community, this trans person coined COGAP for that. But don’t use trans words to talk about how you’re being oppressed by your fellow cis people. Cishet means cis before it means het–and it’s not your place to hurl accusations of cis privilege around as insults.