Friday, September 27, 2013

Yes, Kevin You Do Need To Know Something About Trans Issues To INTELLIGENTLY Discuss Them

I received an interesting link from Bryanna Aeon Jenkins last night concerning YouTube's The 'Skorpion Show' host Kevin Simmons and his broadcast partner Makael McLendon problematic take on trans issues.

I saw the two videos in which these openly gay men clumsily tried to discuss the Mister Cee controversy and the trans feminine dimension of it.  They said some problematically ignorant things about trans women that video bloggers Kat Blacque and Bryanna Aeon Jenkins tried to correct Kevin on.

First point of this post Kevin, is that if you're going to talk about trans issues on your show, you do need to educate yourself on trans issues if you're going to attempt to talk INTELLIGENTLY about them.  Our trans feminine lives are not a joke or a punchline to boost your hit counts, especially when Black trans women are getting killed for daring to openly live their lives.  .

Google and Bing are your friends.  Utilizing them can help you acquire a Trans 101 level of knowledge that will be sufficient enough for us trans women to not to have to school your ass when you frack up like you did in those two videos in the wake of the Mr. Cee mess.  

Janet Mock and Laverne Cox are just two of the many people in the trans feminine community who have either written about or discussed trans relationships.  Both recently made an appearance on HuffPo lLive.  I've been talking about a wide range of transgender issues on this award winning Afrocentric trans blog and elsewhere since 2006.  Diamond Stylz is another major transfeminine blogger who has commented on the Mr Cee issue.  

And when we trans women, be we from the blogosphere, academia or video blog world inevitably call you on your loud and wrong opinions about our lives, don't get huffy and dismissive like you did with Bryanna when we do.   We have had for far too long cisgender gay and straight people mischaracterizing our lives and we're tired of it.  We cannot and will not let it go when a video blog with a large viewership like The Skorpion Show is putting misinformation out there about us and the creator of the show claims 'he doesn't need to know anything about our lives'.

Yeah, you do need to know something about our lives since we are an intertwined part of the Black TBLG community . When it comes to our lives, we trans women are the experts when it comes to talking about them because we are the ones dealing with the challenges and issues inherent with negotiating life in our trans feminine bodies.

Trans women are not as you erroneously put it, 'just like a gay person.'    Sexual orientation and gender identity are two entirely different discussions.  The only way that trans people and gay people are alike is that the world hates on both groups for violating the gender binary.  

And speaking of sexual orientation, a cis man who sleeps with a trans woman is straight, not gay.   Gay men as you and Makael know are attracted to other gay men.  Trans attracted men are attracted to our femininity first, then we sort out the issues on what particular combination of genitalia and sexual activity a trans attracted man likes in the bedroom who desires a long term relationship with us. 

Video bloggers like Troy have also had much to say about this Mr Cee controversy.  He has done yeoman's work at his YouTube video channel in giving people thought-provoking 411 commentary about trans attracted men as well.

But let's get back to discussing gender identity vs sexual orientation.

Gender identity is who you are, your perception of who you are and how you perform your gender roles to correspond with that perception.  Sexual orientation is who you like to sleep with when your bedroom door is closed.  Trans people can be straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or poly just like the rest of you cisgender people.

Another point you and your broadcast partner need to burn into your brains is that a trans woman is a woman period regardless of what genitalia is between her legs.  You focus on the person she is and projecting to the world in 2013 and beyond, not the body she came into the world with out of her mother's womb on her birthday. 

And if you wish to have that conversation you claim on you want to have with trans women, there are basic rules of respect for us you need to remember.  One is to STFU and listen when we are schooling you about aspects of our trans lives you are ignorant about.   

You do not EVER call us 'trannies'.  That is now considered a slur word by a majority of the American trans feminine community, so expunge it from your vocabulary.  

Disrespecting our femininity by calling us 'men' or using the wrong pronouns when we have spent time, money, psychological-emotional work, hormone therapy and sweat equity into becoming the persons on the outside that we are on the inside is also not acceptable.   

And that's real talk for you.

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