Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Trans Community Ain't Monolithic, Either

One of the things that I hear repeatedly in some quarters of the trans community are posts decrying the sometimes acrimonious conversations we get into online, in our trans only spaces  and elsewhere.   Some peeps deploy the 'horizontal hostility' buzzword  and claim that getting transpeople together is like herding cats.

As Jennifer Lawson once stated, "dissension is healthy, even when it gets loud."   But contrary to the naysayers and the flapping gums of some separatist detractors,  there is a trans community.

However, it is not a monolithic community and never has been.   The divergent opinions we have on various subjects of interest to us proves that.    

Much of the impetus behind the contentious bickering that you see spilling over onto the Net is because we are passionate about wanting to do something to solve the problems that ail us.   We are willing to work together and dialogue with each other to come up with a reasoned and coherent strategy to make what we come up with become the political and legislative agenda of this community.

If there wasn't a trans community that didn't care about solving these decades old problems, do you think we'd even spend the time trying to work with the diverse elements of the trans community to do so?

Unlike our predominately monoracial opponents united in faith based conservahatred of us, we have the complications of dealing with race, class, the various isms we brought into our societal subset from our parent society, and internalized shame and guilt issues.

And that's before we even begin dealing with the trans themed gender specific issues and the trans socio-political ones.. 

It is unrealistic to think that we are supposed to be thinking the same thoughts and marching in lockstep 'kumbaya' unity.   But what we can do in these messy but necessary intracommunity conversations is hammer out consensus in terms of an overall trans community strategy for getting civil rights progress in this decade and beyond.

That strategy should have transparent, clearly identifiable benchmarks for measuring that political progress, and evaluate the fitness of people who are leading or wish to lead this community as to how they are (or are not) executing the plan we come up with

We are a proud, diverse trans community.   That is our strength and our best hope for progress against the Forces of Intolerance.    The sooner we realize that the better.

But we aren't monolithic, and nor should we be.

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