Saturday, 17 March 2012

The last hurrah, or opt me out

It's highly likely I'll just bugger off and stop blogging about teh trans, but before I go, I'd like to say this:

Trans is a term of oppression.

This is why:
  • it hides very real differences between rather disparate groups of people. Lumping together crossdressers, trans men, trans women, genderqueers, third genders and what not makes just one unhappy bunch that has one thing in common: oppression. But even that oppression isn't the same for all concerned; the things that can be of utmost importance to some trans women (for example, vaginoplasty, or HRT) might be totally irrelevant to some other group.
  • it lets the cis very conveniently off the hook: it lets them treat us as the other, the false to their authentic selves.
  • the constant dissension between disparate groups thus forced together destabilises and undermines attempts to fight oppression.
  • it keeps us trying to find common ground in identities when there is none.
I'm not expecting much love for saying this, but I think these identity-things have to go. Identity politics does not work.

I'm proposing fighting specific problems, one at a time, until they're all solved. The solutions must be such that they don't oppress other marginalised groups. "Trans" as a concept is mostly useless for this. Access to care is not a trans-specific issue, it's a healthcare issue. Violence is not a trans issue, it's a power issue, even if it affects trans-identified (identified as trans by others - most people can't tell how you identify if you don't conform to their stereotypes) people more than usual.

I'm also bone-tired of this stuff. I need to rest from this and live my life and protect myself and my sanity. I didn't ask my life to be centred around trans, and there's not that much stopping me from decentring trans in my life. Which is what I've been doing more lately (thanks go to my wonderfully sane and caring therapist, too). So - off I go, thanks for everything, I might not return.

Oh, and I love the acronym CAMAB. It just about sums up my experience.


  1. I agree with you. There is value in disparate oppressed groups joining together if they either have common goals or they are able to clearly differentiate their goals and keep them individually visible whilst fighting together. Unfortunately, the former is very rare and the latter is very difficult.

    The trans umbrella is dangerous in that we don't have common goals, society tars us all with the *worst* of each group's issues and the internecine battles between the groups are leaving us with a muddled battlefield and poor direction.

    As for disappearing off into the sunset and forgetting these trans issues, I understand you so well. Like you, I rarely blog on trans issues any more, though I still try to keep involved in a couple of support groups. Outside of that, my life has nigh on nothing to do with trans issues any more.

    Life continues after trans... Isn't that the point of transitioning, after all?

    All the best with that non-trans future! :)

  2. Thank you - there's so much stuff left to do. Right now I'm realising some of my childhood dreams; dreams that trans, and living the cis mandated life, displaced a couple of decades ago. I had almost forgotten those dreams, but somehow the dreams crept back into my life, and - those dreams are now becoming reality.