Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

2011, as I’ve mentioned, was a huge year for us. We’re more visible than ever before, in a good way, and people think we deserve discrimination protections. Hooray! Pop the corks! Being trans will never be a problem for anyone again! (Suicide rates not withstanding) Oh happy day!

Ah, but. Even as trans rights advance, it seems that legal protections for women are being rolled back across the board. I’m leaving the world of men just in time to relive the fun and excitement of the nineteen-fucking-fifties. Abortion rights have been eroded for years, so much so that now there are no more half measures, no more “reasonable restrictions” and “zoning code revisions.” Now they’re forcing you to get an ultrasound. Now they’re demanding waiting periods. Now they want you to carry your dead fetus, because even that is too close to an abortion¬†for their¬†comfort, and it’s not like a woman has a right to get rid of the fucking corpse she’s carrying. (And hey, cows and pigs pass dead fetuses all the time. It’s not like women are people.) They’re coming after contraception (but not Viagra). Expect a condom tax, soon. Or maybe only men will be able to buy them. Wouldn’t want him to become a father without his consent, now would we?

Reproductive rights are bodily autonomy rights. No trans woman should view this assault on our cis sisters as anything less but a dire threat to ourselves as well. We’re all under siege here. If they can enshrine it into law that old white men who are afraid to say vagina out loud should have the authority to tell you what you do with yours, then they can pass any law they want to about our bodies. They don’t want us to exist. They’d ban transitioning in a heartbeat if they could. We’re probably not even on their radar yet, but that’ll change.

More than that, it is wrong! It’s just fucking wrong! How can they demand that women met become mothers whether they like it or not? Do they think that’s going to make for a happy childhood? A productive citizen? No, it won’t, and they know it! It’s never been about the welfare of the child. If it was, they wouldn’t be slashing family planning services that make abortions less necessary, or social services that help young mothers provide for their families.

It’s about punishing women for having sex.

“You did the dirty, now suffer for 18 years, you worthless bitch! We have to control your terrifying pussy or else!”

Or else what?

“Or else sluts!”

They know they can’t stop abortion; it’s being going on in one form or another for thousands of years. They just want to make it dangerous and difficult, to punish women for taking control of their lives and their sexuality. There is no other explanation that fits the available data.

This is retrograde misogyny of the highest order, and it is a threat to everyone. Fight it tooth and claw. Do not buy their “both sides” bullshit. People who respect a woman’s right to have an abortion are fighting for civilization and equality. People who want to squash it are fighting for a world where half of the spices is enslaved to the other half as an infrastructure support system, providing sex, housing services, and new men (new girls are a tedious byproduct, but we can find a use for them in the kitchen) for the over class. This sounds like some serious second wave lunacy, but that’s where we’re at: the threshold of lunacy. People who expect to get elected are saying things in public that, in a civilized country in a civilized time would get them laughed out of office. It used to be commonly accepted that, fer instance, the Pill should be something women have a right to. We do not have that consensus anymore.

This will spill over. This can only spill over. It will infect and corrupt the lives and prosperity of women in every sphere of their lives. Once you establish that the value of a woman’s health is less than the right of a dead fetus to fester in her uterus, then you can do anything to her.

Even as I’m ‘allowed’ to be a woman, the conservative movement in this country seems to have dedicated itself to a concentrated push to make the lives of women worse.

Thank the invisible sky daddy that I live in the 21st century.

But April is a Girl’s Name!

“Thank you for calling [large, famous corporation] Networking Support, my name is April, how may I help you today?”
“What’s your name?”
“April, sir.”
“Oh, Gabriel.”
“No sir, April. Like the month.”
“Oh. Um, I can’t connect to [famous online gaming service].”
“Of course you can’t, you fucking idiot, because you have the mental agility of a chimp with Alzheimer’s.”

Okay, so maybe that last part didn’t happen.

Trans* Unity Day!

As I promised last year (holy shit, last year!) I am celebrating Trans Unity Day again. Those of you who have your own blogs, I encourage you to write your own posts on this as well.

Last year was an amazing year for us. We made smashing progress on all fronts, and are more visible to the general population than ever. And while most people think of us as some kind of exotic super-queer double-fags, lots of cis (gay and straight) folks nod politely when we’re in the room, but wouldn’t invite us and never fuck us, and nobody wants their kids to grow up to be one of us…most people don’t want the government discriminating against us. Or employers. Or landlords.

A solid majority of Americans, including 93% of Catholics(!) and 86% of Republicans(!!) think we should have the same basic legal protections and rights as anyone else. This is stunning. Up to 75% of Americans support workplace discrimination protections, and large majorities can give essentially accurate descriptions of what the word transgender means.

This is better news than I could have ever believed was possible. It means that we’re winning. It means that people are making the jump, realizing that we’re human, just like them. It means that we have to keep fighting, because we need to solidify our gains before the backlash starts.

So today I urge you all to re-dedicate yourselves to the cause of gender equity in all forms. Male, female, other, nongendered; cis, trans, gay, straight. None of us are free from gender stigma until all of our gender configurations are considered legitimate and of equal worth to anyone else’s.

Separatism is not the way. Division holds us back. We’re all worthwhile. Last year I wrote about how transsexual separatists undermine the cause for equality. I’d like to this to grow beyond that spat, and make this a day for all people to celebrate their gender, find joy in who they are, and reaffirm their commitment to justice in all forms. We embrace each other and celebrate our diversity and our unity, and we will make a world safe for the kids who come behind us.

I’ll be writing about this next year, and every year. We will win.

Point of Etiquette

It is considered to be quite rude to tell a trans person that you have clocked them. It’s triggering, demeaning, and alienates us. Even when couched in the friendliest of terms, it can come across as “Ha! Got you, you sneaky tranny. You can’t hide from me.” Worse is when cis people try to explain, in detail, how they could tell. (I don’t pass well enough that this has been a problem yet; if I pass for anything it is as a boy, but I have it on good authority that this happens all the time.) Usually, this results in us having yet another part of our body to feel uncomfortable about.

But what happens when you’re trans, and you see another trans person out and about, and you want to show solidarity?Just walk up and say, hi, right? No. It’s not that simple. They might be trying for stealth. They might actually be cis. Even if there isn’t a misunderstanding, you might still trigger them or make them feel uncomfortable by letting them know they are visible. (Worst, they might be a separatist douchebag. More on that later today.)

This is why I keep ships-passing-in-the-night with other trans chicks around town. I see them. They see me. We both know. We keep our mouths shut and don’t talk to each other. Because we might be wrong. Because we might offend each other. Because we don’t know how to say hello.

So how do you say hi to another trans person without making it awkward? (Trick question: you can’t. Get two or more of us together in a public place, and we create a singularity of insecurity from which no woman’s self esteem may escape intact.) How do we at least make it polite?