trigger up: a gender rant

05/08/2012

trigger warning for transphobia and racism, both external/internalized, as well as some mention of sexual assault/rape/shitty community responses to harm.
let me tell you this: i fucking hate talking with cis people about gender some times. i hate having to bring it up. i hate having to say ‘actually, i’m going by this name now,’ or explain what i mean when i correct someone about pronouns. when i correct a cisgendered friend/acquaintance about pronoun useage, it’s often not even in relation to myself, but in relation to other trans/genderqueer folx. i hate having to go ‘it’s okay’ when someone fucks up. i hate having to swallow it when someone excuses their actions and uses a transperson’s previous name to excuse it (like: “well, i’ve known them since they were ___, it’s hard for me.” REALLY?).
i love and hate getting tokenized, getting called out for certain discussions about gender and pronouns on…yes, Facebook. i feel like the token mixed race trans/genderqueer person for some of my old friends, and sometimes it’s okay but sometimes it gets tiring. Y’ALL I CAN ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF. most people get that, i think?
i hate that R, a person i used to regard like a brother still refuses to use my preferred pronouns and regularly calls me by the wrong name, and that i only feel brave enough to call him out when i’ve had a beer or two. last time i called him out i just left after he said “i’ve just been waiting for you to decide.” what?! preferences are allowed to change, yo, but also–i decided years ago about pronouns, dude. fucking get with it or get out of my life.
i hate that that doesn’t even feel possible, because i’d have to not attend things (like brunch at W/S’s, the neighborhood bar we both frequent, etc) in order to avoid him. and he’s friends with many of my friends now, in part because i introduced him to those people, including my former partner. i suppose he is an easier friend to have and to keep–i expect accountability from my friendships and other relationships, which seems to be a continual breaking point of late.
i hate postulating if my cisgendered sweetheart of 6+ months has not introduced me to his family (who he is incredibly close to) because of my gender presentation or because it is painful/hard/stressful/etc enough that his father is approaching the end of his life. i hate imagining in my head how to talk to him about it, how to ask–is it selfish to want to meet the people who raised the person you adore? i want to offer to fly under the radar in that situation, but i also know how i look–i may pass for cis sometimes, but i sure don’t pass for “not queer,” have never been able to.
i hate that the only people i’ve seen/heard talking about Cece Mcdonald are other trans/genderqueer/queer people. i hate feeling like i should be talking more about her plight and the plight of other transwomen of color in the PIC, in the streets, and not feeling like i have the words, and feeling like i should, should, should. i feel like living in the position of privilege that i do, it is my responsibility to speak out and talk about how this stuff happens every day (because it does, and it is so fucking messed up), but i am still formulating how to talk about it. can this picture (I DARE YOU NOT TO CRY) be the start**?
i hate the way that i get itchy when a fellow rad feminist/fellow latin@ who i respect/admire is talking about how “we need solidarity with other women” and includes me in her broad gesture, calls me by the wrong pronouns. it feels as if me being honest and open about my gender identity is being forced as one that somehow undermines my feminism. it doesn’t, no matter how many times i worry (hey internalized shit!) that it does.i hate that i didn’t speak up. i hate that i didn’t speak up.
i hate the way that i feel beholden to lovers who have been able to “see” and understand (sometimes) my gender. i hate the compromises i have made at times in order to be with people with whom i did not feel invisible or washed over. i hate the parts of my identity that i let them make invisible or made invisible in order to be with them.
i hate having to use a different name at work, it feels schizophrenic and i am constantly terrified i will use the wrong name for myself, or that my co-worker who is friends with another (trans) friend of mine will ask me about name/gender stuff, either when we are alone or in front of someone. i hate worrying about trying to get a job using my preferred name.
i hate worrying about being policed by cis/trans people for “not being trans enough” in some way–clothes, behaviors, transition choices, “outness”, “passing”, etc.
i hate binding. i hate the awkwardness of struggling in and out of my binder. i hate that it is the most comfortable i have felt with my body since i…i can not remember when.
i hate being terrified that if i choose some type of medical transition (if i can even find a way to access that…?) that my lover will be too alienated to continue dating me.
i hate being scared that if i continue my transition i will lose more friends. i am so scared i will lose my mother, who is my only parent, and the only bio-family member i really keep in touch with, or know at all, these days.
i hate being scared i will turn out to be like my father, or that i already am.
i hate that if i decide to become a parent, my child(ren) could be taken away from me by the state because of my gender/sexuality.
i hate that some of my white friends make light of my chosen name (it’s spanish) because they think anything mexican/other-than-white is hilarious, for some inexplicable reason. i hate not being comfortable enough to speak up about this.
i hate that (most of) my white friends can not pronounce my name correctly and that i have to shorten it or anglicize it. i hate that i anglicize it even when i’m talking to other spanish speakers, because being mixed race with passing privilege makes me feel like i will get accused of “not being Mexican enough” to use my own fucking name. i hate that even ___ feels too assimilated, “not brown enough.” i hate my longing for other latin@s, as if there were some sameness about us all (das racist!) or something. i hate not feeling like i can touch that stuff because my family is so far away and because my experience is as a pretty assimilated latin@. i hate that even if i did find my bio-family they might not accept me because of my gender/queerness.
i hate feeling like i have so much internalized misogyny that it’s may be a long time before i can date women again.
i hate feeling erased when i date cis-dudes. i hate the way they are so unaware of their fucking privilege. i hate being slutshamed. i hate having to rebuild my life/sexuality/ideas of consent after being assaulted–again. i hate that i have survived more than one sexual assault, and that no one can ever guarantee me i will not be raped/assaulted again, and that the odds are in favor that it will happen again. i hate that i had some of the best sex i have ever had with the person who assaulted me. i hate that asking for what i want makes me feel so vulnerable that i rarely (esp. these days) feel comfortable asking for what i need to get me off fully, if ever. or can even get to that place, mentally/physically/emotionally, so that it’s even possible.
i hate that i question my own identity, that i am trans as a result of my trauma history, that i have internalized femaleness = unsafeness so hard that i have decided i am not. smells like bullshit to me.
i hate that ~e has not called me back or given any indication that he received my message–it feels like he is choosing to side with the person who assaulted me, and it is fucking unbelievable…but i guess i should get used to it? i feel like my friendships have fractured to “before the assault” and “after the assault”. i used to think i had so much support, but actually starting to ask for support after that giving that devastating survivor support workshop earlier this year (which made me realize how much i had needed and not asked for/received/etc) has also forced me to come to terms with how false that is. people care, but they don’t know how to support or they can’t because they receive so little support for their shit. dammit.
i hate the way that these things make my stomach hurt and my back/shoulders ache. i hate the way that i feel like crying or pounding my fists, but i’m at work and can’t do any of those things.

i hate not feeling like there is anyone i can talk to* because i know everyone else is dealing with stuff like this or other stuff.
i hate being silent, but i feel like words are not enough.

*there are people i can talk to, i guess? but all our plates=SO FULL right now, and not necessarily in groovy ways.

**OH, DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO CECE IS? do your reading, class: http://supportcece.wordpress.com/

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