Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Being Trans Doesn't Justify Dehumanization Aimed At Us Either

The video I posted the other day from the transwoman who beat the behind of the person who misgendered her is provoking some strong reaction pro and con in transworld and the blogosphere at the moment.

We have an interesting discussion taking place on my Facebook page right now and while on one hand I'm emphatically stating for the record violence isn't the answer to the festering problems we face, I also understand the pent-up frustrations of transpeople that are causing many to cheer what happened.

And yeah, while other peeps may be trying to tap dance around it, I'm not.  The racial angle of a Black transwoman beating the crap out of a white male tormentor is probably adding to the Internet chatter and over the top reactions to it.   

Brittany Novotny wrote on her blog that being trans does not justify violence.   The people who are commenting affirmatively to this video that's now been pulled by YouTube for 'shocking and disgusting' content are not advocating that.

I believe the reaction in transworld is more in line with the fact that during this 2011 holiday season we have had unrelenting attacks on our humanity around the world from a variety of sources, been disrespected ad nauseum, had a transwoman told she needed to leave her college campus because her presence 'spooked' the Canadian Governor General, and had a transwoman killed in Kansas City on Christmas Eve.

Seeing somebody physically fight back and striking blows against transphobia and all the hatin' done unto us during the holidays struck a symbolic psychological chord with people.

Since Ms. Novotny quoted pre-August 28, 1963 Dr. King in her post, I have one for her from the Good Doctor circa 1965.
'It is not a threat but a fact of history that if an oppressed people’s pent-up emotions are not nonviolently released, they will be violently released.'
Let's keep it real for a moment.  There is a lot of pent up resentment, anger and latent frustration that has been building in transworld for decades over the continued oppression of transpeople by friend, foe and frenemy.   That pent-up anger and frustration is at even higher levels in non-white trans communities who are catching the brunt of the anti-trans violence and discrimination as the Task Force surveys emphatically point out. 

I believe there is a perception amongst our oppressors that if they aim disrespect and dehumanizing behavior at transpeople, they presume they'll get away with it without consequences because they are convinced we transwomen will either ignore it, fold or just cower in the corner and cry as they freely unleash it upon us.
Umm no.  As I've stated on these electronic pages more than a few times, trans don't mean punk.  It is illogical to think that a transwoman who is getting disrespected on a regular basis is going to continue ignoring the disrespect.  Sooner or later you're going to catch her on a day where she's had enough, a transphobe pushes her buttons past her tolerance limit and then is shocked when she opens up a can of whoop ass for whoever was unfortunate enough to cross her.

These transphobes need to realize disrespecting us to bolster your flagging self esteem or your shaky confidence in your gender identity and sexual orientation is increasingly unacceptable behavior and there are possible consequences for messing with us. 

Let me post the full quote from the 1965 Playboy interview conducted with Dr King that speaks to what I'm talking about in this post.
PLAYBOY: Is it destined to be a violent revolution?
MARTIN LUTHER KING: God willing, no. But white Americans must be made to understand the basic motives underlying Negro demonstrations. Many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations are boiling inside the Negro, and he must release them. It is not a threat but a fact of history that if an oppressed people’s pent-up emotions are not nonviolently released, they will be violently released. So let the Negro march. Let him make pilgrimages to city hall. Let him go on freedom rides. And above all, make an effort to understand why he must do this. For if his frustration and despair are allowed to continue piling up, millions of Negroes will seek solace and security in black-nationalist ideologies. And this, inevitably, would lead to a frightening racial nightmare.

So while Ms. Novotny and other transpeople who share her sentiments are correct in saying that being trans does not justify us engaging in violence against our tormentors, conversely neither does being trans justify violence, disrespect and dehumanizing behavior aimed at us either.

So if people don't like the fact that this African descended New York transperson struck back and beat down her tormentor du jour, then y'all need to express the same level of vocal opposition to our oppressors in the GL and radical lesbian separatist communities, right wing legislators and faith based transphobes who are producing the resentments and frustrations in the first place.

1 comment:

Black Nyx said...

I was trying to find your email address to send this to you in case you wanted to update your links. The video in question has been reposted on vimeo: