Re: Choosing Transness
Lots of hate on that post and a ton of questions, so, one grand response.
Being trans/non-binary means many different things, and each thing holds significance to every trans person (used here to refer to non-binary people who are not trans, as well), and, these things also mean many things to cis people as a whole. Through the vehicle of bigotry and privilege, transness in the eyes of the vast majority of cis people, is a perversion and a caricature of their existence, and this view is taught to almost everyone from a young age.
This is not what I want cis people to choose. I’m not asking for a cis person to paint themself as the hurtful picture they think to be an accurate portrait of a trans person. This is not something anyone has ever asked for, nor will it ever be.
When I say that i want people to realize they can choose transness, I’m saying that i want people to ruminate on what being trans means to them on an individual level. I’m saying that they should think seriously and critically about gender and decide for themselves what it is to them and in what ways if any it is meaningful. Then, I want them to act on that information.
There’s a popular post by iambickilometer which describes being trans as “[reactionary]”. A reaction to dysphoria and social stresses et al which places one into a position where they are experiencing discomfort, with being trans as remedy to this discomfort. Largely my view on this has been shaped by said post. My own identity was shaped in reaction to information: information provided to me by dysphoria, by depression, by my responses to sexuality, by interactions with people both trans and cis. My reaction to this information was to choose to be trans; I made that choice. The point of my original post was that people who are not trans can and should acquire and analyze information, and then, they should react to this information in a way which is personally beneficial to their lives.
Transness is a possible reaction, and, it is a reaction one can choose to have. My making this choice was greatly influenced by a good friend telling me that it was okay for this to be my choice of reactions, and now I’m telling others the same thing she did me.
Moving on: there’s “concern” (here used with skepticism) about the scope of one’s choice in this manner, concern about what one “does” when they become [, and I do mean become] trans.
My answer, as I’m sure anyone could expect, is that they do whatever they need, want, and are able to do to increase their comfort, ranging from “literally nothing” to “medical transition and beyond”. One’s actions or lack thereof in no way invalidate one’s identity and anyone claiming such is, to put it mildly, absolutely and completely full of horse shit.
That last portion, however, brings up something that really needs to addressed beyond simple dismissal (the preferred method of handling it): truscum, self-identified or otherwise.
There is a pervasive idea, expressed with varying levels of maliciousness, that one need experience certain criteria (read: bodily/gender dysphoria) as a prerequisite before they can qualify as being trans. Largely this is used to delegitimize young people on this website when they decide to navigate this rather wide and complicated subject in a way which is comfortable for them, but has also more frequently been used to attempt to silence anyone not sharing this view.
This is rooted in a feeling of people being able to choose to be trans somehow invalidates the identities of people who feel they had no other option. It is the notion that others being able to choose what they could not choose is “unfair”.
Let me tell you something: You are absolutely fucking right.
It is unfair. It’s really fucking unfair and I can recognize why this makes you angry. This anger is born from jealousy. You’re jealous that someone was able to reach this point without having to have done or been through what you’ve been through. You’re allowed to feel this jealousy. As an emotional response it makes sense, up to a point. That point being when you act on envy and attempt to force people who mean you no harm, but rather wish to share in your life and experiences and who understand you and want for you to be understood, so long as you are not acting with such fervent malice.
Not everyone had to experience pain to get here. Not everyone had to cry for 6 months straight and almost poison themselves. Not everyone had to endure years of horrible relationships and suicide attempts and being always picked one because the other kids were able to see something in you that you couldn’t see in yourself. Not every single fucking person has had this massive internal experience be as harrowing and awful as you or I have had it.
It has not been that bad for everyone, and, as a collective entity in clique politics, you need to realize this as a damn fact of life and grow the fuck up. Not every trans person has or has had bodily dysphoria. Accept that and move on with your lives and stop trying to do the gender politics version of “you can’t sit at our lunch table if you don’t have x”. It’s selfish, immature, frequents into the territory of being outright cruel, and only serves to make you more alone than you were before.
Tbh Moriarty wouldn’t even scare me irl. “I will burn the heart out of you.” Bitch I’ve seen Madoka there’s nothing left what’re you gonna do?
i am constantly amazed by straight dudes but not in like a good way
Funny tags aside, it’s great to know that exploring your sexuality is only cool if you don’t regularly identify as a straight male.
EDIT: So the joke is actually about how these people are only distancing themselves from queerness by calling it something else because they look down on it. Like, “I got a bj from a guy but it’s not gay so it’s not wrong.” I can certainly respect the OP’s rationale there. I’m still skeptical about whether or not that’s what’s happening in these men’s heads, but it isn’t a straight-up attack on straight men for exploring themselves as I originally read it, and I think it’s important that people know that.
A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?
The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.
Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.
We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.
Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.
The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.
And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.
So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too."
Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation
by Anjali Joshi
ATTENTION ANYONE IN BLAKELY GEORGIA, NEAR BLAKELY, OR WITH LOVED ONES THERE.
THERE ARE TWO MEN WHO HAVE ESCAPED JAIL AND ARE TRYING TO HIDE. POLICE ARE EVERYWHERE. LOCK ALL OF YOUR DOORS, WINDOWS, AND DO NOT LET ANYONE OUTSIDE OR INSIDE. STAY ARMED, THEY MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE GUNS.
PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST AND REBLOG AS FUCKING MUCH AS YOU CAN.
Kill the idea that naivety is an unforgivable flaw but cynicism is just wisdom, murder it, chop it up and serve it for dinner, I don’t care, just end this bullshit idea that it’s better to hate than to love and better to rot in miserable bitter resignation than to hope for the best.
[falls in the shower] parkour
Jesus, what a douche.
shout out to younger nonbinary people who’ve been told it’s “just a phase” or that they’re “too young to know”. having someone invalidate your feelings because you figured something about yourself out at an early age is unfair and you don’t deserve it.
Males are seen as disposable (four times more likely than women) by our society because females are seen as needed … for sex and reproduction and that’s fucked up and anti-female, anti-lesbian, and anti-trans as well. When you mock people trying to bring awareness to this you hurt females, and…
i have and still constantly talk myself down,
i will always make the situation worse.
i was 14 thinking about killing myself,
i am 17 still thinking about killing myself.
things will never change.."
Darling. I once sat down and held a gun to my head for an hour before I managed to talk myself down.
Next weekend, I get to see my son.
Don’t you dare think that things don’t change. Don’t you ever let that fear keep you from holding on. Because things can get so much better, I swear to you.