One of the things we need to do more often in this community is to spotlight and hold up our role models. We need our kids struggling with gender issues to see the diverse rainbow of transpeeps out there who are surviving and thriving out there in the cold, cruel world while being proud of who they are as transpeople.
There are two lists put together by Karen Serenity and Dr. Lynn Conway's TS Successes that do this quite well, and I applaud them for that.
However, there are two major problems with those lists.
Problem number one is the severe lack of melanin in them, and the second problem is that they focus almost exclusively on post-op transwomen.
I've said this before and will continue to drive this point home until I'm put in a nice casket and buried six feet under my beloved Texas soil that the cold hard truth is our transitions are not like yours.
We don't as people of color start out making a lot of money to begin with, so it takes us much longer if we do decide to get surgery to do so even if we start the transitions at a younger age.
There are also some peeps who can't get SRS for medical reasons as well or simply don't want to.
So riddle me this Karen Serenity and Dr. Conway. What happens when you create a list of successful transwomen that excludes people that either haven't publicly declared they've had SRS, have declared they don't want it or feel it isn't anybody's business to know what genitalia is in their panties?
It ends up as overwhelmingly white, middle-upper middle class and devoid of melanin.
If you are only including declared post-op transpeople on your lists, and the people who do go on to get surgery are overwhelmingly white and middle-upper middle class, what does the resulting list look like to a person of color?
Well, this POC is about to tell you.
One of the issues I had to deal with as a teenage transkid in the 70's was not seeing positive role models that reflected my ethnic heritage. It was one of the issues we've repeatedly discussed on my TSTB list of African descended transwomen.
I've noted that African descended transwomen growing up in the 80's and 90's had that same question and concern as well.
I've also made the point as well, along with many gender specialists that gender is not whether you have a penis or vagina between your legs, it's between your ears.
Transwoman, and especially you two ladies should know that better than anybody.
But one of the things that I have consistently seen from the WWBT crowd and transwomen who transition before 1990 is that they are still stuck in that same genitalia=gender paradigm, then label anyone who hasn't spent 20K for a neocoochie as 'not female'.
Congrats, you're no better than the radfems and the Religious Reich in that regard.
But then again, in order to get SRS back in the day, since many of the pioneering SRS gender surgeons were stuck in that rigid gender binary, they did make pre-1990's transwomen jump through multiple hoops and do crap that we post-1990 transwomen don't have to do.
But we all still have to swallow estrogen and deal with the same issues of negotiating society in a feminine body, and whether you have a neoclit or neocoochie as you deal with those issues doesn't change that one millimeter.
In Dr. Conway's case, she has a double standard in place in terms of her Successful Transmen page. As many of us in the community know, the bottom surgery for transmen is not even close to what transwomen have in terms of aesthetics and functionality, but yet she doesn't apply the same gender=genitalia standard to them that she applies to transwomen.
May I remind you ladies that being a success in life isn't based on your genitalia. There are also transwomen who have achieved wonderful things for this community who haven't necessarily spent time on a surgery table either.
I guess if the first transwomen elected to Congress or the first transgender mayor elected in a major city wasn't a post-op, you would decline to put her on your page.
While you have every right as the creators of those lists to determine the parameters as to who does and doesn't get included on the lists you spend your precious time compiling, I also have the same right, especially since people use them as resources to point out you're also doing those transwomen like Spain's Carla Antonelli for example, a disservice by ignoring their accomplishments.
You're also doing a disservice to people that need to see a wide palette of trans role models a disservice as well.