TransGriot Note: I said it a different way, but had to post this commentary from Jen Richards, the co-founder of the Trans 100 over the racist BS that erupted in the wake of the jacked up 'I'll deal with you' Morgan interview.
It was inevitable that other trans people would start coming for Janet Mock & Laverne Cox
once they reached a certain level of visibility. Hell, we talked about
it. Now that's it's come, it feels less saddening and more ridiculous.
What I've just read is too absurd to dignify, and too transparently
racist and self-centered to excuse, so I'll just make a few brief
1) If you're white and are upset by the attention on
issues facing trans people of color, you need a serious reality check.
When we talk about violence against LGBT people, we're really talking
about trans women of color. That's who is being killed. When we talk
about HIV, we're really talking about trans women of color. Yes, we're
all suffering in various ways, but focusing where the crisis is most
urgent doesn't hurt you. But your griping about it reeks of racism and
hurts us all.
2) Neither Laverne nor Janet claims to be
spokespeople for the whole community, but they're using their voices for
the good of others, and there are a lot of us who are very grateful for
3) Don't like the attention Janet & Laverne are
getting for themselves, people like them, or the issues they care about?
THEN GO SUCCEED LIKE THEM AND MAKE YOUR OWN PRIORITIES. I'm so tired of
people knocking others down just because they can't get themselves up.
I've seen both of these women struggle, but I've never hear either of
them blame anyone else. Not once.
3) Laverne was doing work in
the community for years before 'Orange is the New Black'. Not only was
she put on the Trans 100 before being cast, she flew herself out to
Chicago for the event and was backstage helping other people, just
because she wanted to. And she has used her to fame to bring attention
to all kinds of issues and causes.
4) Of course Janet wants to
sell books. She's a writer, and a damn good one. Is she any less
deserving than any other writer selling books? And you all have no idea
how much she gives back. But she's never done anything inappropriate to
sell books or gather attention. She's just worked really hard, and
really smart. Again, go do better if you can! But sure as hell don't
tell me that you can't because your white ass has had a harder time.
5) A rising tide lifts all ships. When one of us succeeds and lifts
others up, it's a good thing. Try just being happy that a few trans
people are succeeding and keep working hard yourself. It's actually much
6) If you're white and are upset by the
attention on issues facing trans people of color, you need a serious
reality check. Oh, did I already say that? WELL CLEARLY IT NEEDS TO BE
SAID A LOT.
We need to have more serious conversations about
race in the trans community, and I intend to help start a few. We need
nuance, and multiple perspectives. But this shit I've just seen on
Facebook is plain old stupid, racist bullshit, so I'm going to have
those conversations on another day.
TransGriot Update: And that racist backlash has included people deliberately writing negative reviews on Amazon.com about Redefining Realness.