Activism

Ally Is A Verb

Appreciative of all the cisgender allies who’ve stepped up during the past 24 hours, in the wake of Trump tweeting that he was banning trans people from the military (and presuming booting those currently serving). Especially those who worked to educate others so that trans people didn’t have do 101 labor on a very trying day.

“Ally” isn’t a noun, it’s a verb. It’s also a title that’s not self-adopted, rather it’s an honorific for meritorious service, bestowed by the folks on whose behalf an ally is acting on.

Klinger Was Not A Trans Solider

I say this more in sorrow than in anger, but I just had to unfriend someone on Facebook who I’ve known for a long time over that damn Klinger photo, and his doubling and tripling down on it.

I don’t care if Klinger was your childhood hero, he’s not an appropriate poster child to oppose the ban on trans people in the military. Why insist on using a fictional character who wasn’t trans, when you could use photos of actual trans veterans, such as Carla Lewis.

I know you’re trying to be supportive on what’s been one of the roughest day for many of us trans people in a long time, but….

Klinger wasn’t trans. In fact he was donning the dress to get a Section 8 discharge from the Army for being mentally unfit for service. I.e. someone who was actively trying to get out of the service, rather than someone fighting to serve as their authentic self.

Equally important, that photo reinforces the notions that 1) trans women are just “men in dresses” and 2) that trans identities are something just casually put on and taken off at will. Both of which are used as justification to discriminate against us.

It’s inappropriate comparison to trans members of the services and trans vets at all times, and right now, it’s just salt in the wounds.

I’m serious about this shit, don’t try me.

Terms Of Un-endearment

There’s a lot of folks in the burlesque world who need to take a hard, hard look at themselves and their behavior right now.

From seeing a people defend an alleged sexual predator who’s been accused sexual assault and inappropriate behavior by dozens of women, to seeing people defend a venue/owner host who used racist and ableist language (especially since said venue has past racist incidents on stage), I’m not exactly feeling the sparkly sisterhood right now. In fact I’m disappointed and irate.

WTF is so hard about it?! There are simply words that don’t belong to you.

  • Unless you’re Black, the N-word doesn’t belong to you.
  • Unless you’re intellectually disabled, the R-word doesn’t belong to you.
  • Unless you’re LGB, “faggot,” “homo,” “dyke,” “queer” don’t belong to you.
  • Unless you’re trans, “tranny,” “shemale,” “he/she” don’t belong to you.

You don’t get to reclaim them — only those targeted by those terms can, if they decide to do so.

If those targeted don’t feel anyone outside the group has a right to use them, guess what: YOU DON’T GET TO USE THEM!

It’s not hard, and neither “being a good person,” nor “good intentions” ultimately make a damn bit of difference.*

If you step on my toes, and I say “that hurt me, please don’t do it again,” the normal human reaction is to apologize and not do it again. Doesn’t matter if you stepped on my toes accidentally. You don’t try to excuse yourself because you’re a good person, or you had good intentions, or you just wanted to spark discussion.**

Same thing if you’re friends of the person who stepped my toes. Nor do you accuse me of a “witch hunt” for speaking up about the fact someone stepped on my toes (or my friend’s toes). If you’re a good friend, and the toe-stepper is refusing to own their actions and apologize, you should be pulling them aside and letting them know why that’s fucked up. If the toe-stepper is going around and intentionally stepping on toes, then you need to condemn their actions and disassociate yourself from them.

Get with the program, this shit ain’t hard.

* Yes, I’m aware there is a difference between intentional malice and oblivious disregard, but I wanted to drive the point home because white, hetero cisgender get so hung up on “intent.”

** Being able to treat other people’s lives as a philosophical question to be debated is an ultimate expression of privilege. Just saying….