Dear My Fabulous Trans sisters, Cool it with the Reactionary Activism

Being transgender is an experience; I’ve known trans people from all over and I’ve noticed we often share universal experiences, hopes, and insecurities. Unfortunately I think there is also plenty of anger and frustration with a world that doesn’t see us the way we deserve. I know every time I see some form of transphobia or LGBT violence I just lose it inside and wonder how a world could be so screwed up.

But we need to channel that energy in a more productive matter rather than take to the internet to voice hateful messages back at those we mistakenly see as our oppressors.

From the People that brought you #fuckcispeople – Presenting Pierce Morgan:

I’ll start by saying I don’t really like Morgan. To me, hes like a slightly more amusing and better versed Simon Cowell – but I’ve always been more of an America’s got talent girl than and American Idol fan anyway (don’t blame me, my parents love AGT and watch it all the time). But here is the problem. Morgan is not well versed in trans issues and makes a living as a infotainmer.

YES, he should have prepared better for the interview with the lovely Janet Mock, BUT, to put it lightly, he is Piece goddamn Morgan, His brand is a certain caliber of arrogant snobbery.

I doubt anyone was going to tell him how to prepare his interview better, and naturally he is defensive after being called out. We’ve been telling him he is a transphobe and bad a this job. moreover, we are yelling at him over the internet about it. And As much as a love hearing the powerful voices of our community, we need to pick our battles better. I know everyone wants to get their online-activist points for the week by taking down Pierce, but I honestly think we’ve done enough. There are just too many other issues important to our community.

But Speaking of our image in the media, Jared Leto isn’t a transphobe – he may be an idiot though.

When Leto gave his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, myself and others were utterly pissed to hear all he had to talk about was waxing his whole body to play Raydon. Of course it’s a bit insulting to hear how brave and innovative Leto is for dressing up like a woman for a lucrative acting career. Imagine going to MUCH further lengths just to feel okay with your own existence.  And while I think the LGBT community is right to withhold praise from the movie, we need to keep the conversation in perspective.

Paris Lees, one of my all time favorite possibility models (love that term) wrote a while ago that a key to building a better portrayal within the media lies with the development of empathy. We need to pick our battles and promote positive portrayals by openly engaging with the media.

Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera did a fantastic job with the Katie Couric interview. They quickly and gracefully turned the interview into a chance to discuss the objectification of trans people. At that point, NO ONE should have gone after Katie Couric. I think anyone who saw that interview, took away a positive attitude towards trans people. I have a feeling that Mock was taken completely off guard by Morgans line of questioning and wasn’t able to quickly regain control of the interview.  Morgan is also very good at keeping a tight leash over the conversation.  But people that don’t follow LGBT news outlets, might not understand why we’re so angry. That’s why we need to be civil in supporting Janet Mock.

A lot of Americans think words like Liberal and Feminist are bad words, things you don’t want to be. People constantly try and paint us as angry and unreasonable, which is sexist at best and misinformed at the worst. In order to avoid for the Trans community to avoid this pitfall, we need to save our angry for the truly outrageous.

Save your anger for the deliberate vilification of trans people.

Save your anger for the hate crimes and discrimination.

Save it for our brothers and sisters in Russia.

And cherish ever step toward progress.

 

~Emily

PS: Even though I have relative moderate stances of activism, I will totally lead the charge against anyone who utters the word tranny intentionally.

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