Yesterday, I was in Greenwich Village walking in the gay district. I went looking for some stickers representing transgender people. I found one store but they were all out of them. As I strolled along the street, I recognized how happy I am to be transgendered. I am also a crossdresser who prefers transvestite.
When I was at home later in the evening, I thought about how transgender and gender variant people are unwelcome even in the GLB community. We're laughed at, scorned, an eyesore to so called respectable people. Being in the minority is nothing new with me. I am African-American, part Native American, a born again Christian ( the genuine followers of Christ are severely persecuted in many countries), and transgender.
I maintain that we put into question society's idea of male and female. It makes people question what it is to be masculine and feminine. In the GLB community it is, in my opinion, it throws ice cold water on the super male and super female phenomena so often put forth. I am not against GLB at all. It is a fact in some circles. As a minority, I know what prjudice and discrimination is first hand.
The fact that I am a crossdresser throws another angle into this debate. We're labeled as confused and not being able to decide which way we wished to go. We're ' tweeners so to speak. To some transsexuals, crossdressers are 'fake' women who can't decide whether or not to transition. Each person has their own reasons for doing what they do. I feel a kinship to those who are or have transtioned. My only concern is that the person is very, very sure that this what they want to do.
Another reason I believe that transgender and gender variant people are reviled is that we transgress the gender binary of male and female. One does not have to reveal their sexuality but gender identity is something that is out there in public. As an African-American, I wear my identity. When I go out in public as a woman, I am presenting my feminine side. I am not ashamed of my ethnicity or my gender status.
A second point to remember that it was transgender people who got the modern gay rights movement rolling. Trangsender and crossdressers have been at the forefront of many social movements. Leslie Feinberg's book Transgender Warriors states that historical fact. The Compton Cafeteria riots and the Stonewall Rebellion were begun when transgender, crossdressers and drag queens rebelled against police harassment. They had nothing to lose by do this. Sadly one of my heroes, Sylvia Rivera, is given scant mention of her role in the Stonewall Rebellion. To her dying day she chastised GLB for their unfair treatment of transgender people.
Seeing things now, I and others like myself will continue to work for transgender equality. I will continue to be proud of my ethnic and transgender heritage. In the end, I pray that the GLB communities who dislike us will see that we need each other.