Opinion and Perspective

Pride: Conflicted Feelings

As I am sure many of you know it is officially June, which means Pride season is among us! While I think pride is very important and it is something I make a point to attend, I still have my critiques of it.

Firstly, let’s start with the history of pride. Gay pride has been a staple of queer culture for decards, however, as LGB people saw more and more progress in their favor, the community shifted. Although pride was started by trans women and other queer people, the movement turned into a white, middle class, cis and gay exclusive club. In the Netflix documentary about the life and death of Marsha P Johnson, they explore this through real footage of Silvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson. Trans people and lower income queer folk alike were pushed to the back of the movement.

This was at first clear to me during the battle for marriage equality or “gay marriage”. Such an issue actually do not just impact LGB people, as trans people with partners that have the same gender marker as their partner was also barred from marriage. Lucy Hick Anderson was a trans woman who was charged with fraud because she married her cis male partner. The promotions occasionally felt as though they were shaming single-parent families, with slogans like “two moms are better than one”. And above that, in my personal opinion, the tactics and promotions used to gain marriage equality were often cissexist, classist and forming to a cisnormative view of family. This is not to say that I am unhappy that I can now marry my partner, because I am grateful for that, yet the posts made by allies and community members makes me feel somewhat uneasy.

It is so vital that the LGBTQ+ movement does not forget its roots again. Our roots are the activism and effort of trans people, queer folks, and people of color. Although the current view of the community is often images of two cis gay people holding hands, saying “Love wins”, the truth is that LGBTQ+ (especially trans folks) of color are not being represented. The image of trans people is often post-op, straight, passing trans women, which is a good start but trans men are also under-represented in the media. The LGB community seems to have abandoned their trans brothers, sisters, and siblings, which cannot happen when trans women of color are being murdered and trans people are still facing employment, housing, and other types of discrimination.

Pride is not trans-inclusive, in fact, I actually attended a trans pride recently, and while it was great to see so many resources for trans folks, I was upset by the separation. Trans pride is needed, but it is also vital that our cis allies (LGBTQ+ or not) see us for all our diversity and for our unique experiences and challenges. I felt the use of the word pride was a betrayal to the only history the trans community has to hold on to, our founders. The trans people who sparked a movement before having the word “transgender” to describe themselves.

I find this topic conflicting because I do not always feel safe or included in spaces created by people like me, and while I enjoy pride, it does not make my uneasiness fade. I have other issues with pride which I will get into in other posts.

Opinion and Perspective

Graduation. A Trans Perspective.

Throughout high school my dead name has been used many times. Yet, my heart never stops racing in reaction or anticipation at every award ceremony and substitute calling role. My school, like countless others, requires trans students to come out by themselves and without support.

To explain why this is a problem, one of my peers was a stealth trans girl, post top operation. A group of students found out about her birth name through a substitute, and she then had to change classes because of the constant threats and taunts that followed. For me, as a non (probably never) stealth trans person, the risks may not be as high but I have been in classes of students that begged to hear my “real name” and as soon as they did, that was the way they refered to me.

This connects to graduation as I found out recently, after being dead named at my senior award ceremony, the school feels “legally obligated” to recite my legal name at graduation. I explained exactly why this is a problem. Later, at graduation practice, my class was told “everyone deserves to have their name said correctly”, so when it was my turn to explain my name’s pronunciation, I said my chosen name. As far as I can tell my chosen name will be said.

However it is truly disgusting that this level of transphobia was so casually passed to me without notice. For all legal purposes the school is required to print my legal name on the diploma, however, there is no law stating nicknames or chosen names cannot be said to address a student. I cannot fathom the number of trans youth have walked before me as their dead name. I, as the rebellious queer I am, would not walk unless my name was said correctly.

The broader picture of trans people at graduation is one of a more dismal turnout than that of our cisgender counter parts. Trans people and LGBTQ people, especially those with unsupportive homes and schools, are more likely to drop out, have a lower gpa, and miss more school/school functions (LGBTQ School Climate Report). And given our particularly high suicide and murder rates, there is another reason I believe the term “deadname” was coined. To me, the phrase has always reminded me of trans youth who died before they changed their legal name, as it then becomes their dead name. A name that never fit correctly, yet people forced it on them, even onto their tombstone. I am sure that is just my more morrbid interpretation, but I stand by my point.

Graduation is supposed to be a time to look back on high school as well as on to the future. But, as I look behind me the majority of what I see is dysphoria, transphobia, and a lot of uncomfortable situations caused by the first two listed. As I look forward, I struggle to find professionals like me in any careers, let alone the profession I am interested in. Being marginalized with an administration like this one, means that I am never sure when the next opportunity will be robbed from me. It is so disheartening to have transphobia coming from every level and angle possible.

Last year, my partner graduated. At the time, he was not out to his extended family, so I sat as far as possible from them as possible. It was painful to not experience such a postive moment in an equally positive way.

This year I will be graduating and after fighting with the school, they have agreed to say my chosen name. However, my feelings about graduation will not change from the current negativity. Events like these remind me that I have yet to change my legal name, and that no matter how hard I try the world still only sees me as the print on my birth certificate.

Uncategorized

Life Update.

Hey, all.

I have posts scheduled for the next month, but please keep giving me ideas! I now also have my own site on Threadless.

Courageartcorner.threadless.com

You can get my art there for a little cheaper than Redbubble and more of the profit makes it back to me! Which is why I will be using it from now on instead of Redbubble.

 

Yesterday, I found out that my grandmother passed unexpectedly, I thank you for your thoughts and patience while my family and I process our loss. ❤

Opinion and Perspective

The Q-Word: Why I use it

Queer
adjective
  1. 1.
    strange; odd.
    “she had a queer feeling that they were being watched”

The word queer was once used as a slur, and in some places still is. However, it is important to understand that while “queer” is, for me and many others, a reclaimed term, it also has a different meaning than “gay”.

Being queer can mean you identify yourself as revolutionary, radical, transgressive, etc. Which is how it is used in the phrase “queer liberation”. This comes from the word’s history when it was first reclaimed, out of spite. Or being queer can be an umbrella term for someone who is non-heterosexual and/or non-cisgender, similarly, t is used by some to describe their sexuality without a specific term, so a queer person may be attracted to all genders, none, or just one. This makes it a kind of catch-all, but it is usually safest not to use the word queer unless you or whoever you are referring to identifies themselves as queer. Many people still take offense to the word.

So, why do I use the word queer? Because I feel that there is power in reclaiming terms. When someone spits “queer” at me, it does not hurt the same as other slurs, as I use it to identify myself. I feel that few things are more powerful than taking a slur and turning it into something vibrant, rebellious and positive, which is exactly what the word queer means to me.

I also do not identify with any LGB labels, because I have never felt truly apart of the gay or bisexual community. Despite not having an exact word for how I feel, knowing that I can use the word queer to explain gives me comfort in not labeling or pressuring myself to find a label.

If you also use the word queer to identify yourself, feel free to comment what it means to you in the comments!

Art, Opinion and Perspective

Our Queer Art. My Interview!

Today at 5pm EST, my interview with Our Queer Art will be put on their website!

I discussed my art, what inspires and so on. If you are interested here is the link. Please share!

You can find the organization that emailed me via twitter @queerdeermedia and @ourqueerart .

By sharing the link you help my brand and my art get exposure, which helps so much. Thanks!

-Anthony

Transition Talk

Transition update. June 2018.

I will not be able to afford cyropresevation for a very long time. Because of this, I will be starting testosterone, possibly risking my chance of a biological child.

I may move my June 28th appointment to this Saturday so I can have some questions answered, and make the decision whether or not to start testosterone. I cannot explain how hard this will be for me, your support means the world to me!

I am going to be participating in several workshops Saturday so if you haven’t, follow me on twitter @time_through and insta @couragethroughtime . I will be posting a few times between events. Next week I may post a summary of the workshops and what I learned, comment of DM if that interests you! And feel free to reach out with any questions you may have or topics you want to see explored.

Add yourself to my email list to get updates when I post! I have a post about the word “queer” scheduled for 5 pm on Wed this week!

Transition Talk

HRT: Testosterone. My Journey Begins.

I am finally starting testosterone on June 28th. For any trans men interested in the process, I am going through Planned Parenthood. Not all branches have trans care specialists, but I am fortunate enough to live within two hours of one that does.

Continue reading “HRT: Testosterone. My Journey Begins.”