something i wanna talk about or at least make known by VCR-WOLFE

ok i know ive said im not really feeling the most into it and social as of late but recent occurrences that ive witnessed in other places have made me think about some things and they are things i wish to bring up because i feel they are highly pertinent

so uh first off ill preface things with an assertion that no one should be shamed for being ignorant of lgbtqia+ concerns who are seeking information and education. this is especially important in lesser known genders and sexualities, those often pushed to the wayside due to the general binaristic societal norms a lot of us experience, speaking from a western standpoint at least. yeah, we know of male and female, gay and straight, maybe sometimes bisexual. we know about transgender people, often misunderstanding them unfortunately

this being said however i feel like...when ignorant people are asking for more clarity on the subject matter of the transgender community and the greater concept of transgenderism as an identity and what makes up this identity and how it differs for people in this community, it worries me to see a lot of words coming from cisgender people. i see words often like “i dont have a problem with trans people but i dont see enough scientific proof of dysphoria” blah blah blah “why do we put so much importance on these labels why cant we all just be people” blah blah. i see a lot of what looks like outright complaining over something that is not being fundamentally understood

it cannot be ignored that a lot of us, even queer people(i personally reclaim this word for myself), have grown up in environments that have fostered bigotry either outright, or passively in our everyday behaviors. most, if not every other queer person ive met and befriended recounts such memories of even being bigoted themselves, from what they learn from elders, to a form of misguided coping and pushing ones self away from their own identities out of fear and other negative emotions. im even included in this and cannot and will not deny that when i was younger, due to certain factors in my environment i had bigoted ideals and behaviors towards people that i very much grew into identifying with later on and currently so. thank you catholic school for that lmao

our process of acceptance and inclusion involves a lot of unlearning old ideals and mental rewiring, not too dissimilar in racial awareness and movements in the past and present day

we cannot really move forward in this learning without accepting our past faults and not mortally condemning those who are still moving forward, even if they faulter. i dont generally believe in ousting and rejecting those who take longer to wrap their heads around the ideas of queerness. its never sat well with me. we are understandably allowed to be frustrated, to be angry, to be afraid, i know i certainly feel these things sometimes when dealing with ignorant people. some people just dont get it right off the bat and ok, yea, that can be annoying as all fuck

does that mean everyone is bad in that way, then? i dont really think so, not always at least. yeah ok some people are just kind of bigoted for naught, which sucks but like. very very often i encounter people who are more of just struggling. this is my experience at the very least. ive had a certain luxury of living in a strange limbo between several areas of populations who are rather accepting and those that are rather limited and xenophobic. i know this is not the way for all places and people, but it is at least mine, and of mine i will be speaking of. perhaps some of you will be able to share similarly.

anyways, back to my first point of this being said, i still have a certain belief at least that when it does come to these sort of discussions, im not entirely sure how much cisgender people should be contributing to direct experience education and more specifically opinions about transgenderism when others are asking for information. understandably if you are cisgender and further examining that and possibly coming to a conclusion that you are not cisgender, by all means, but im more talking about the unwelcome opinions and how they try to define transgenderism. the transgender experience, though it is wholesomely unique to each individual yet still uniting of us, is essentially something that is not generally felt and experienced by the cisgender person. i do not really believe a cisgender person really has the right to state what they feel defines us because its what these definitions they create that make things admittedly difficult for us. its these kinds of decisions from cisgender people that make it a ridiculously asinine process to go through gender transition, be it socially, medically, or any other combination

that is to be considered, as well as the fact that in general a lot of cisgender people still often perpetuate transphobia and binarism, both blatantly and intentionally as well as subtly and subconsciously. it is something that cannot be avoided or brushed aside and minimized and is part of the learning process i have so talked about earlier

with that in mind its just...not really the place for a cis person to really be giving out their opinions on these sorts of things? like i understand the need for support, for allies and whatnot, for help explaining things when trans people cannot always stand up for themselves due to various reasons, but it really is the matter of knowing when to step back and let the actual people being affected to be the ones to tell of these experiences and the needs we have as human beings for our rights

tbh theres so much that can be talked about with this subject, honestly honestly its so much and such a huge scope that i understand it can be difficult. i have difficulties with it

idek

i mean while i am a pretty decently private person i do try to make an effort to be at least somewhat open with things about myself such as mental illness education and my gender and my sexuality bc these things im personally affected by i know are things that are still so little-known about in the public eye and its a struggle. i know i at least wanna maybe help a bit to make things just a tiny bit easier and provide more information to those that need it

shrug emoticon idek

this is all i can really muster i dont have much strength to go much further and im sorry for that ahah

something i wanna talk about or at least make known

VCR-WOLFE

25 March 2015 at 11:58:19 MDT

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  • Link

    I totally agree that the best sources for subjects like being trans are the people that actually have to live with being trans, especially as it is such an easily misunderstood subject, but I feel a little antagonised as a cis person :/ I understand pretty much as much as anyone can understand without actually experiencing it, I have a lot of trans/non-binary friends and I live with someone who has to deal with dysphoria almost every day, and when people are ignorant of this it makes me mad! I'm not saying I have a right to represent trans folk because at the core I'll never truly know what dysphoria feels like or what trans bigotry feels like, but I like to think I know enough to at least open people's minds on the subject and give an accurate representation of trans people and their struggles.

    I had a bunch of cis friends in college that had never met anyone who was trans and a lot didn't even know that trans people existed. So I spent a long time trying to educate them as well as I could, because they had no exposure to trans people themselves. I like to think that if/when they do meet a trans person, they will be a little more understanding and will have some knowledge on how to treat them properly.

    There are definitely a lot of cis people who don't understand, or have very bias or skewed opinions on trans folk, but there are some of us who spend a lot of time and effort researching and asking real trans people and trying our best to understand so that we can educate others when trans people aren't there or can't speak for themselves.

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      yEAH NO someone brought up a similar thing on tumblr and yea, i think the support and spread of information is pretty important! but when it crosses over from helping to educate to personal opinions and "commentary" on things that just arent a cis persons experience is when i have a problem, personally at least

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        Yeah, I agree! When I explain to people what being transgender/non-binary can be like and the things they may experience, I always try to stick to the facts and testimonies from people who truly know what it feels like first hand. If my opinions come into it, they're generally just "you should be nice to trans/non-binary people because they're people just like you and they have enough crap to deal with without bigotry/ignorance piled on top :V"

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          yea thats def a good thing ;o;

          i shoulda read my thing over n fixed the wording a lil better bc it does kinda sound like cIS PEOPLE SHOULDNT SAY A THING EVER but i didnt mean it that way

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            It's ok, I know you didn't mean it like that ;w; //pats u

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      If you are diligent to facts and experiences, don't feel ashamed speaking for other people. You're affected by bigotry, too, even if you're not the target.

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        Ah, thanks ;w; and tbf I've had my own share of bigotry/ignorance. I'm pansexual, so I'm pretty accustomed to having to explain/justify my sexuality every time I mention it ||D
        My personal favourites: "Doesn't that just make you bisexual?" and "Pansexuals don't exist because there are only two genders!!" SIGHS LOUDLY

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          I just tell people I'm a trisexual. I'll 'tri' anything sexual. >:)

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        Not to mention my all time favourite: "Doesn't that mean you fuck animals and objects too?!" //slams head against a wall

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    I saw you got a kiss on fa and da so here's a weasyl kiss for you too MWAH

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    I'm not sure how to respond to this other than that this is possibly the most well-written and well-worded commentary on this topic I've ever read and I commend you for that.

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    usually when i see a cis person trying to explain trans stuff what's coming out of their mouth is completely irrelevant and out of sync with my experiences and those of most other trans people i know. for example, this garbage that i see passed around a lot (and which is made by a straight cis man who makes his income by speaking for queer people whether we want him to or not) reinforces the harmful gender/sex dichotomy that none of the trans people i know subscribe to. it's just a headache.

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      ooough i remember that thing omfg. like yea it was p good at first but then you kinda look closer at it and i mean,,,tbh that sorta educational material should really be handled by trans people rather than cis dudes lmao

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    Information is power - and more power to you.

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    "knowing when to step back and let the actual people being affected to be the ones to tell of these experiences and the needs we have"

    ^ This, very much. Thank you for writing it down!

    BUT/AND: I think a lot of people stop there, at this sentence, and believe that it means they can badger lgbtqi (or any minority) to get the answers they want. But really it is " know when to step back and let the actual people affected by those issue talk... if they want to". It shouldn't be about pushing people on the front scene when they're not emotionally or otherwise available, it's also not seeing minorities as being commodities for other people's education and growth.

    As a trans person (among other labels), I get a lot of people coming to me to get my opinion on X, Y, Z. And sometimes befriending me on the sole basis that I'm trans, to get benefit from "my trans experience"; I'm not a whole person anymore. Sometimes I'm on a site or in a place enjoying myself, and I deal with enough ignorance already in the rest of my life that I don't have the energy to educate more people again. And it should be okay to leave me be, but a lot of people get mad and rant about "how do you want me to learn if you refuse to talk with me". And, if we seem bothered when we are pressured into discussing something we don't want to discuss at the moment, or a topic we're tired of, "why are you getting mad?" or "you're not helping your cause with that attitude".

    I wish people would understand that it's time-consuming, and energy-consuming, and there are general resources and websites that people can go to first to get answers to a lot of questions; and EVEN THEN if then they want to get someone's opinion on something - or hear about personal experiences - from someone in a minority group, us people in minority groups don't owe others anything. Not our time, not our explanations, and certainly not justifications. Most of us really want people to learn, too, but we shouldn't be spoon-feeding the people who want to learn. Because we have our own lives too, we don't exist for the purpose of educating other people.

    So if at some point I step up to talk about trans issues (or about not being straight or other stuff) it doesn't mean I have to answer to ALL the questions (such as questions about my anatomy in particular... go check a medical website instead if you want to learn about trans body modifications), and it also doesn't mean I'm available at ALL TIMES to answer questions. It's not a (my) job. I think it's important for people "knowing when to step back" , to listen to us; and it's also equally important "knowing when to go to the people VS when to try and find answers in the general resources available". It can be websites, zines, books, documentaries... There's stuff out there at others' disposal if they want to educate themselves, before rushing to someone with the same old questions.

    (Also important to make the difference between "does this really serve your education on X topic" or "does it only satisfy your curiosity about this person's private life".)

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      you definitely make another super important point! its great to seek information and education and its great when people of these groups are willing to speak and teach, but we arent fuckin google text books or something, we have lives and privacy of our own!

      i know i personally try to be open and willing to talk but i also know i have my limits and sometimes im honestly not in the mood to play teacher at all, especially given its not my job, im not obligated to, and i have this choice thankfully, ESPECIALLY more so when questions just get into gross gritty subjects that are way too invasive

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        Yep yep! Definitively that.

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    preacH

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    i just want to reiterate that you're one of my favorite artists on this site for far more reasons than just your art (although that is spectacular too). i very much appreciate this journal. you're awesome. okay.

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      ah gosh, thank you jive ;o;

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    This was a good read - and I hope people take the time to actually read through what you have to say, because it's important. I really respect you and have for a while. I hope that these topics and others like them can become more commonplace in open and honest discussions. And reading about the experiences of people such as yourself is a good step toward that. Thank you ~