I think trans people are invisible. No... that's not the right word. I'm
sure most trans people are working hard politically and are trying to be
quiet and unobtrusive. And it's not a comment on "passing". It's just
that while gay people complain that there aren't enough gay characters
on TV, trans people have a legitimate beef that there have have NONE.
I wanted to blog about trans issues today because few people in the gay
community talk about it. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was a couple
weeks ago on November 20. I guess it was also a Day of Silence, because
all the websites I regularly read were completely silent about the
commemoration. Gay.com? Recon? 365Gay.com? Bear411? The only
place I saw mention of the day was on LiveJournal, and then only from
people who were trans.
Apology: I personally didn't post anything about it on my blog on November
20. Except for a photo of a dildo going into a man's hairy butt. Now I
Why was the day important? Lately, gay people aren't getting killed as
much as transgender people. There are still gay bashings, most notably
last month outside of a gay-oriented gym in Salt Lake City:
But to get *really* killed in the US, it's dangerous to be a transwoman,
particularly if you try and pass. Gwen Araujo, Sakia Gunn, Brandon Teena.
Or local to me, I remember reading about Freddie Martinez in Colorado and
Alina Barragan in San Jose. Recently, Duanna Johnson. But these names
aren't really familiar to me as Matthew Shepherd.
Us gay guys sometimes like to portray ourselves as martyrs. We haul out
statistics of anti-gay violence. But per-capita, I think transgender
people are doing all the heavy lifting. We count their deaths as
"one of us" when in suits our agenda and inflates our numbers and
helps us to feel like victims. But the rest of the time, we ignore transpeople.
I think a lot of gay men resent the fact that we have to include transfolk
in our groups. They would be a lot happier if there was no "T" in LGBT.
Or a "B", for that matter. Bisexual and transgender people are
embarrassing, particularly new transwomen who aren't very good at
applying makeup or dressing "appropriately". I don't feel this way of
course... my motives are pure and clean, and I am perfect ally of the
Ok, I'm lying. Sometimes I still get worried I'll say the wrong thing, or
find myself staring. But I want to try and explain why gay people might
dislike trans people: you remind us who we are. Many gay guys have
worked very hard to reclaim our masculinity.
We may suck dick, but we're MEN. Manly men... and those of us who are
attracted to leather and hypermasculinity often have to defend ourselves
by explaining loudly that we are men, we like being men, we don't want to
be women, we never wear dresses or makeup.
Then a transwoman enters the room, we wonder if we're like THAT.
It's stupid. It comes from weakness and fear. Pure self-loathing. It's
much easier just to avoid the issues altogether and ignore the topic
completely. Which might explain my first point that transgender people are