Warning! Here there be dragons! I am going to delve into matters I generally shy away from (hoping in the process to be less coy about them in the future): gender and sexuality. I want Hand of Ananke to be about the entire human condition, and the relationships among the genders (yes Virginia, there are more than two) is an important part of that, as is how we express ourselves sexually.
I want to start it off with an issue near to me: trans erasure. Specifically I want to discuss it as it occurs in the LGB part of the LGBTQ community. A great deal has been said about trans erasure in the women’s movement. For instance here: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/the-biotic-woman-talking-about-transphobia-and-ecofeminism-with-ida-hammer. Somewhat less talked about is the increasing abandonment of trans folk at the hands of the LGB community, in particular gay males.
I really only have my own experiences, conversations with friends, comments on forum threads and Facebook status updates, to draw upon. Still, what I see is upsetting. More than a few gay male friends have insisted that the trans community has been riding the LGB communities coat tails. They tell me we have to learn to stand up on our own as a movement.
Which is funny, because they never had to stand on their own. We were with them through the fight to pass ENDA. We were with them through their fight to end DADT. We are still with them through the fight for marriage equality and the fight against hate crimes. We were with them at Stonewall and regardless of how they treat us, I hope we will be with them in the future.
In fact I find it ridiculous to consider us a separate community at all. That “T” belongs in LGBTQ for reason: we are all gender-nonconforming. We have insisted for so long that we are not a subset of the gay community, we fail to realize that they may actually be a subset of our community.
We all fail to fit into gender stereo types. If you are a man attracted to men, guess what? You are not conforming to your gender. Most men are attracted to women. We have far more similarities than differences, not the least of which is the people who want to oppress us argue for their “right” to do so based on the same facile reasons.
We have to remind ourselves of our need to stand together. We are queerfolk and we have fought so many of the same battles together, why stop now because one section of us has made some gains? If we do that, the hatemongers will divide, conquer and send us back to the closet, if we are lucky.