When racism and transphobia look the same

racism-transphobiaIt’s an interesting question. This articlearticle takes a good, long look at that question. It begins with recounting the murder of a transwoman, so be forewarned…

The article’s main message is, you’re transphobic if you think a person who is trans needs to tell potential suitors that fact before they engage in a relationship. The argument goes that a person who is not attracted to transwomen will want to know ahead of time who they are getting involved with. Because if that person is transgender, there is a possibility the cis-person (or other variety of human) won’t choose to be with that person.

I guess the same argument could be made for being racist: if somehow black people could conceal their blackness, racists would want to know ahead of time whether the person they find themselves interested in is black, so they can check their interest.

Sounds dumb, right? I mean, in order for a person to want to be sure they aren’t interested in said black person is because they are somehow interested in them, right? Interestingly, we don’t have to worry about that because black people can’t conceal their blackness. Most anyway. As a result, people who make their partner choices based on skin color alone can merrily avoid all us niggers. lol.

Not so with transgender people apparently.

Which is the point, I think, of the article. Not that all transgender people conceal their trans ness…many actually do. Intentionally and unintentionally. But that’s not the point I’m making. I’m saying it’s quite possible that a person who is scared of being with a transgender person can easily find themselves attracted to a transgender person before discovering the person is indeed trans. I mean have you seen Dusty Rose? This of course has happened in many of the trans murder cases in recent years.

But being scared of a person because they are trans is an interesting thing.

The author puts it more plainly:

None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won’t go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won’t go out with someone because they’re trans.

It’s similar to someone saying they aren’t attracted to all black people. So is it a preference? Or is it phobia/racism?

Incidentally, many, many transwomen are racist if held to this same definition. Couldn’t a transwoman’s lack of interest in black men – because of their skin color – or some other aspect of their physical disposition, something they can’t help bing, be interpeted the same way?

You better believe it.

“Oh, but THAT’S a preference,” some will say….Not according to many,  many, many, many people. But not everyone. Some think it’s just prejudice. Others do think it’s a preference. So how is not wanting to be with a transwoman, even if a person is initially attracted to such a person, not a preference then? I think it depends on the story.

Dusty Rose
That’s Dusty Rose. And yes, she’s fine, period

After all, there are a LOT of black people, men too, who are loving, caring people. Just as there are probably similar such people among transwomen.

Here’s a great definition of racism: “people making negative assessments of large groups of individuals that they’ve never met, based solely on the color of their skin.” Replace “based solely on the color of their skin” with “based solely on their status outside the heteronormative binary”, and we start coming to some interesting parallels.

Suffice it to say this is an great example of why I wrote the post recently on why it’s so hard to be the “woke” police. Everyone has a picadillo or two. You’re bound to have yours exposed when you start exposing others. So it’s tough to call people racist or transphobic, especially in the grey areas. If a person is calling people racist slurs, or anti-trans slurs, or demeaning a person, or a group of people in either category on the basis of that alone, that’s one thing. But it gets really slippery when a person starts trying to parse out examples that could be just preference.

It’s far better – if you’re wanting to be happy – to leave all that shit to other people. It’s far better to create stories which create the best reality circumstances for your life and let other people live. If that means sometimes (in the early stages) meeting a dick, or a racist or a transphobe or two, so be it. In the end, those people won’t be able to find you….if you’re telling the right stories.

And you’ll live happily ever after.


The difficulty of being the “woke” police

It depends on your story.

Monroe Bergdorf. Bless her heart.

She’s been the topic of wild criticism of late, having offended an entire race of people. Some within that race are more open-minded to her criticism. Others, less so.

I can see her point. I can also see her critic’s points. Everyone has a story. Each is valid for the person holding it. So, how do we as a species, as a group of people, get along in the wake of all this story-making, much of which has to do with pointing fingers at what we dislike or disagree?

If everyone is telling stories and those stories are creating evidence confirming it, is it possible for us to all get on the same page? Is it possible for all white people to acknowledge their in-born privilege? Is it possible for all black people to acknowledge their victim mentality? Is it possible that you, or I, can tell a person he’s wrong, when the world is providing him evidence which confirms his stories?

For me, what matters is this: Are you happy in your personal life?

Whether you are trans, or cis, male or female, that question can be a guiding light for you. Answering that question doesn’t have to involve anyone else. For if you can find personal happiness, and tell stories from that place, your life will shape over time in favor of those stories. As that happens, people inconsistent with the happy stories you’re telling will fade out of your life and those who are “in tune” with your happy stories will fade into your life. It all begins with the stories you’re telling.

finger pointing hardly ever works
finger pointing hardly ever works

I worked several months with a person who defined himself as an activist, much like Munroe. The problem with being an activist is, it’s not a very happy life. This guy I worked with one-on-one was trying so hard to right the wrongs of society – in the areas of class warfare, wealth inequity, racism, sexism and more – all he could see when he looked out into society was a pandemic of problems, problems that, no matter how hard he tried, he acknowledged he was making very little progress in abating.

Ironically, he was making himself miserable! He was depressed, pessimistic. He had little hope for humanity. And, if matters for him weren’t bad enough, he was miserable over his eyesight which was increasingly failing on him. I find that situation ironic too: The more he focused on seeing all the negative in the world, the worse his eyesight seemed to be getting…

It’s one thing to want to make the world a better place. But you can’t do that telling stories about how wrong people are. Nor can you do that with your actions alone. All you do is make people defensive. You make them dig into their already negative stories, thus creating more of what you think must change. Not less.

Is there a place for activism? You bet. But there’s got to be a better way than throwing blame around claiming to have the high ground on woke.