This is our truth, tell us yours
I thought a lot about whether to write this post. A cis woman is not who you should be reading today. Then I thought about the trans women I know and care deeply for, and the fact that there is a high chance one of them may end up a statistic, a victim of hate. Sometimes not speaking out is complicity with the violence, through silence we allow it to happen.
The massacre of trans people, the majority of whom are trans women continues. Earlier this year we mourned the loss of Dora, a sex worker from Turkey, a country where trans women are regularly targeted because the police turn a blind eye. She was just one person who humanized the almost incomprehensible statistics. The Trans Murder Monitoring project collects data from across the world, and in the first four months of this year 78 people were murdered because they were trans. Then there are those like Lucy Meadows, whose death can be laid at the feet of a bigoted click bait journalist who thinks trans people are not safe around children.
Senseless death follows senseless death, and why? Because trans people do not fit the gender norms of patriarchy, because they are seen as lesser, as damaged, as not worth protecting and giving equal treatment too. To be silent in the face of this, to turn away would be a sin in every meaning of the word.
I have fortunately not lost anyone to transphobic or transmisogynistic violence. But many have, loved ones gone because they fail to conform to an outdated and damaging idea of what it is to be a woman or a man, or if they are genderqueer or non binary simply for not conforming. This should be an issue the whole of feminism speaks with one voice over, after all what defines patriarchy more than its desire to tell women, and men, how they should be. A trans woman who is killed because she fails to conform to patriarchy should be wept over as a lost sister by all feminists. After all the physical, emotional and structural violence meted out on trans women is simply what would happen to all of us if it was still allowed. Doctors defining who is a woman according to sexual preference and whether they wear a skirt is only a short step from the cis women locked up in the Magdalene Laundries because they dared to wear make up or look at a man the wrong way.
Instead though mainstream feminism seems to be determined to replicate the mistakes of cishet men and say who is, or is not acceptable as a woman allowing the systematic violence to continue. To be silent in the face of that is to allow the violence to continue.
Some people call me an ally, I do not like the term, I call myself someone who will not walk past as another human being is hurt and in pain. That this is deemed controversial is perhaps as sad as anything I can write today.
Now it is time to stop reading me, and look at those whose voices need to be heard, a few suggestions;
A word about asterisks. There seems to be no certain yeah or nay about the use of them, so I am tending to not use, since they clutter, for no other reason.