Wednesday, January 11, 2006

20 Things NOT To Say to an African-American Transwoman

TransGriot Note: These are some of the various comments over the years from various sources that I've had the displeasure of hearing. It was past time to post some responses to them.

1. How much?

Asking that question will get you either slapped, read like a cheap novel or beat down if the transwoman you insult with that query is one of the many who DON'T make their living this way.

2. Do you play basketball?

Any African-American transwoman 5' 8" or taller will hear this question ad nauseum thanks to the WNBA. Then again, if peeps are asking that question that's a sure sign you're passing.

3. The N-word

That will straight up get you severely cussed out or your butt kicked.

4. What's up 'Miss Monica'?

I absolutely HATE getting called that. First of all it's a term mothers used
condescendingly for unruly teenagers or precocious little girls. In the Black gay community Miss Anything is not a complimentary term.

When you address me as such in public the term is unmistakably a gay thang. It not only calls my femininity into question when I'm addressed that way, by doing so you may have just outed me and exposed me to more ignorance or worse.

You can call me Monica or Ms. Roberts, NOT Miss Monica.

5. The word `shemale'

Do not EVER in life call me a shemale. That is second only to calling me the N-word. It is a derogatory term created by one of the transgender community's biggest enemies, radical feminist Janice Raymond. It was later appropriated by the adult film industry.

For reasons that escape me some transwomen use that term to describe themselves. I'm not one of them.

6. You LOOK like a real woman.

You swallow estrogen for a few years, do electrolysis or laser, have some facial reconstruction, some SRS and see how feminine you look. Definitely won't be like Billy Blanks or Ah-nold.

7. You'll never be a REAL woman because you can't have children.

I have several genetic women friends who possess a uterus but can't have children. Does that make them men? I think not. When menopause kicks in for you will it be okay for me to call you a man since you will no longer have the ability to bear children?

8. Do you do shows?

I love watching them, but just because some female illusionists are my friends and share my ethnic background, don't assume that I'm also an illusionist.

9. Do you know (insert name of favorite female illusionist here)?

I repeat, just because some female illusionists are my friends and share my ethnic background, don't automatically assume that I know every one of them in Louisville or elsewhere in the country.

10. Who do you sleep with?

That's my personal business what gender I prefer to have in my bedroom. Just be thankful it ain't your partner.

11. I think of you as a real woman.

Hello? I didn't spend several years in therapy, endure 400 plus hours of electrolysis, change my name and identity documents to be called a dude. Could it be that you think of me as a woman because I look, speak, think and act like one?

12. I can't stand transsexuals because they don't take womanhood seriously.

Please. I've run into sistahs that have let their appearance go to hell, rarely wear makeup if at all, put their hair in braids like Allen Iverson, wear baggy shorts down to their behinds, wear saggin' pants and cuss like gangsta rappers. So when are they gonna start taking womanhood seriously?

13. What you're doing is against God's will because He don't make

You're right. God doesn't make mistakes. Biology does. That's why God gave surgeons the skills and talents to repair cleft palates, do open heart surgeries, fix noses and change a penis into a vagina. They have a little work to do on the other end of the spectrum.

14. All you Black trannies wanna do is party and be escorts.

All White trannies wanna do is desperately hold on to White Male Privilege and pretend we African-American ones don't exist.

15. I like you, but I can't risk being seen with you.

If you like me enough to wanna get in bed with me, then you like me enough to take me on a real date to dinner, concerts, museums and the ballgame. Some of those activities require leaving the house during daylight hours. If you have issues about being considered as less than a man for dating a transwoman, then don't step to me or any other transwoman.

16. How big is it?

Some pre-op/non-op transwomen are extremely sensitive about that topic. You wouldn't want her asking you five seconds after she met you how big yours is, so don't go there with her. You may be embarrassed by the answer you get to that question.

17. You're the first transwoman I've met.

We're 3% of the population, so you've probably met one of my sistahs. You just didn't know it or for various reasons she didn't tell you.

18. You're a transwoman because you're ashamed of being a Black man.

If I WERE a Black man I'd be just as proud of being Black as I am now. The problem is that I'm a Black WOMAN who was born in a Black male body and I dealt with it. Some of you just didn't like the solution I came up with.

19. You're a transwoman because you're gay and don't want to face society as a gay man.

What part of gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same are you failing to realize?

20. All you transsexuals are just men in drag.

Stop drinking that two-liter sized bottle of Hateraid and chill. Don't be mad because some of my sistahs look better in a dress and heels than some of you do.


dorsano said...

Hey, Monica. GiG pointed me to your blog. I've been pretty busy lately and haven't been blogging much but she caught a link to your blog that you had posted and forwarded it to me.

Thanks for sharing these things. I'm much more comfortable when I'm informed. :)

Take care, Monica - and thank you for all you do.

GiG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GiG said...

Oops, that was me deleting myself...OK, I'm new to the blogger thingie.. I really am, I've only created a blogger account recently because my daughter has a blog and then I couldn't remember my sign in and stuff...go figure...

{{Monica}} I love your blog and everything you have to say. I've only discovered your blog last night when you left your address on the DNC. Thank you for fighting the good fight, you rock!!

I can't wait to read your first published novel, count on me standing in line for an autograph.

Catch you on the blogsphere,

Red Letter Rev said...

How 'bout we just leave it at Phenomenal -- that's one adjective that truly fits. When I get discouraged, I can count on you to snap a knot in my backside to get me back on the right track.

If you ever do get to the Triad area, you, me and mine will sit around and lay a hurt on some Bluebell :-D

jenny said...

thank you for this monica! you're the best.

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks KA peeps.