Thursday, October 07, 2010

What WE Do Reflects On The ENTIRE Trans Community

I'm going to adapt a saying that used to hang in many of Houston GLBT bars back in the 90's for trans community use.

What I do reflects on you,
What you do reflects on me,
What WE do reflects on the ENTIRE trans community.

There was a discussion on Isis' FB page Monday night in which we were talking about trans women behaving as if they were still sitting on the Jerry Springer stage and triggered the musing that led to this post.   As I've written in these electronic pages numerous times, many transwomen wish to be seen as compliments to the sisterhood, not detriments to it.

These transwomen (and I include myself in that group) are cognizant of the fact we must be in many cases better women than our cis sisters in order to be taken seriously..  Unfortunately we have our nekulturny fringe in the community who are hellbent on living up to every negative stereotype ever written about transwomen and try to come up with a few more of their own for good measure.

Yes, just as those of us who are serious about being complements to our cis sisters are taking responsibility for our behavior, our sisters who want to be the next Springer TV star or call girl need to realize that their personal behavior negatively impacts the entire community.

We are judged as a marginazlized group by the worst we produce, not our best.    To complicate that PR problem, transpeople are a group that has far too many negative stereotypes about it and not enough positive PR and out positive role models to counteract it.

So yes, we need to be concerned with how the entire trans community is perceived by others .  We need to do a better job of pointing to friend and foe alike that we have accomplished, talented people in our ranks and relentlessly trumpet it.

We need a paradigm shift in which the trans narrative, who and what a transperson is and how a transperson is perceived is no longer driven by negativity and falsehoods, but facts, logic and concrete examples of people role modeling the positive behavior.

And if it means that we have to distance ourselves from the few fools in order to benefit the many people in the trans community, then we'll have to be tough minded enough to do so.

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