Monday, January 11, 2010

I Want Total Justice and Inclusion for All Trans Persons

by ENC supporter Kyle B. as part of ENC's "I Want" initiative. Crossposted from his blog.

Equality NC is running a campaign called "Picturing Equality" wherein people submit pictures holding a sign of what they hope will be accomplished in whole or in part this year. That is my entry, but what do the words really mean?

The plight of the trans individual in our modern world is so broad that it's very hard to pinpoint into one single idea. In a developed nation, they may feel that it is hard to come out, live as themselves, find proper care to assist in transition, find a welcoming workplace, or just get basic love and support from those around them. In a developing nation, it is almost an act of suicide to attempt a name change or walk down the street in their gender's clothes. Simplistic as those lists are, they are valid global concerns and must be addressed.

Justice to me means full liberty, complete availability of resources and support, and no unnecessary scrutiny. No person should fear savage beatings and rape, occupational discrimination, or constant doubt and defiance. No person should ever have to feel alone in their struggle, and there should always be somewhere or someone to go to regardless of socioeconomic status should a person ever feel that way. This should be universal, trans persons should not merely be lucky to be in a specific area or require an expensive move to have access to quality care and support.

Those that would transgress against a trans person for the mere fact of their gender identity or expression should be dealt with in the manner in which it is most fitting. Nobody should be able to get a pass on transaggression and violence simply due to our cultural standards of binary gender classification. This applies not only to the common thug on the street, but to the organizations that promote themselves as gender or queer oriented that have repeatedly ignored the trans community outright or in pursuit of their own goals.

Inclusion does not only refer to social inclusion, it also refers to full inclusion into the concerns, campaigns, and activities of the larger queer community. We can't afford to leave some of us behind while we fight for our own rights. We can't relish in the winning of marriage equality for gays and lesbians when Brazilian transwomen of color are still being beaten and killed for their gender identities. Nothing we do can wantonly ignore that or any of the other acts of anti-trans violence that are still occurring present day, and if we do we can count ourselves no better than those we fight against.

I want to speak to the usage of the word "all" in that sign, because it is important to highlight just how much class has an effect on the issues I'm discussing. All is not just the rich among us, those of us who can afford to move to more accepting areas, pay for elective surgeries, and wait around on just the right job to allow ourselves to really thrive. All is everyone, every single person who goes through the trauma of discovering they are not like everyone else and must now become true to themselves before it destroys them. Every person who grows up thinking they are a mistake in one way or another. Everyone who fights internally and/or with others just for the privilege of being themselves. We all deserve to be who we are, and we all deserve access to the resources that will help us get there without fear of repression, violence, or exclusion.

That is what I Want.

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