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The really insidious gatekeeping


A truism of the trans experience is that, every time you turn around, there appears to be a gate that one must pass. Inevitably that gate has a keeper and I have yet to encounter one in which the keeper isn't cis. 

The gatekeeping of trans medical care is well documented. While there have been improvements in this respect, in some parts of the world, it is never absent of cis people who "want to be sure" that this is what we really want before allowing us our lives. More insidious, though, is the gatekeeping of the truth of our lived experiences.

One lived experience is the clear and present danger that a certain British author poses to trans people. Her constant anti-trans tweets and her recycled homophobia, disguised as an essay, is constantly cited by lawmakers and anti-trans hate groups in many places as a reason to curtail or eliminate trans rights, deny access to spaces we have accessed for decades, and to even deny life-saving healthcare. For a great many of us this fact is sufficient to make us wary, if not outright distrustful, of those who profess to enjoy or support her work. 

Seems like a reasonable perpsective, don't you think? I mean, we are talking about someone that is basically advocating our removal from society while denying our existence and our gender. Especially so with respect to trans women. So, yeah, reasonable seems a mild affirmation of my perspective to be quite honest.

So, I shared this perspective on Facebook...

Would it suprise you to learn that I had cis people attempt to dispute or debate my perspective? To think that they are entitled to dismiss my experience and downplay the harm of her actions? Because they like her fiction? Imagine my feelings to discover that there are people that, in theory, call me a friend who placed their desire for a set of books before the very real safety issues facing trans people and want me to be okay with that. They even got upset because I would have none of it and made it clear that I am not debating my experience.

Trans people often live with cis people trying to tell us what is transphobia and what is not. They try to tell us how we should feel and that we shouldn't challenge their beloved beliefs and cherished notions. They want us to shut up and be a good little trans, take some selfies, and make doe eyes with emojis. They don't want us to make cis people uncomfortable and they definitely don't want us to make them face their own transphobia.

No. 

That is not how it works with me. I'll reiterate: if you publicly express love, admiration, or support for any of her works then I will distrust you. I have to. It's self-preservation and that is not open to debate.

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