So the past week has been shitty for trans people, it’s true. Whether it’s Netflix doubling down in support of Dave Chappelle’s transphobia-as-humour, Texas making progress towards banning trans kids from sports, or the BBC running hit pieces on trans-inclusive charity organization Stonewall UK, it’s easy to feel like we are under fire from all sides. And it is certainly true that the status of transgender people the world over requires improvement.
Yet as I dip my toe into the discourse on social media swirling around these injustices, I find myself recoiling not just from the discomfort of the initial events but from the rhetoric that some trans people and allies use. Any time someone attempts to compare transphobia to racism, to say something like, “Mmm, you wouldn’t say that about Black people, would you?” I cringe. It’s not the same, at all, and we need to stop it.
When I say “we” I’m speaking mostly to my fellow white trans people, particularly white trans women. (And maybe, I guess, to Naomi Wolf.)
Often forgotten, yet seldom marginalized
To understand what I’m talking about, first we need to talk about the idea of marginalization. Loosely put, this…