The Politics of Policing
I fear the worst for my beloved transgender community. We are in the midst of an interesting time. We have the choice to thrive in the face of adversity or lock ourselves in the cages society has provided to us. Why is it that so many of us are choosing to bend over to societies rape tactics?
We have to breathe life back into our community, dealing directly with the people. It’s not about the politics of inter-communal relationships, rather where our energies are focused when dealing with one another.
My head is literally spinning after today’s trans* chat experience. I’ve never seen the word “privilege” thrown around so carelessly. People were more concerned about policing everyone else’s thoughts and opinions that some very important information and attitudes were lost in the midst. In a discussion about transgender persons of color, I felt intimidated to voice my opinions that were important to me as an afro-latino transman. It only further proved my point that we as a community are focusing our energies on the wrong things.
We are so worried about who is not operating in political correctness instead of learning how to fine-tune our discernment and sensitivity to weed through ignorance and offensive attitudes to get to the root of our problems. As transgender persons we have all been oppressed in some way, so please forgive those of us who express oppressive attitudes based on how we have been affected by our abusers.
I mean really, where is the compassion and where do we draw the line when it comes to correcting oppressive attitudes within our community? I have been accused of being a misogynist one too many times, and it has troubled me because I now understand that I have been expressing attitudes of subconscious misogyny due to the twenty-one years I lived as a woman prior to transitioning.
The underlying issue is that we as a community have been so coated with anger, that it’s starting to seep through the pores of our unifying covering and it is poisoning us.
Trans* activist, Alexis Rivera said activism is about the love of people not hatred of people. The transgender community has experienced so much hatred and violence that we are actually imploding on ourselves. It can be witnessed in our dialogues, within our sub communities and in our personal relationships.
Instead of submitting to the mental, emotional, and spiritual rape society continues to inflict upon our brothers and sisters, we must take responsibility for our own liberation! It starts with the individual. Each one of us must be fueled by self love and acceptance, and we must each cultivate a remarkable desire to exist at our highest potential.
Now, please know that I am in no way blaming my brothers and sisters who are repeated victims of transphobia for being subjected to mental, emotional, and spiritual deprivation. Although I empathize with their situations I have no way of truly understanding what that is like, as I am a very privileged individual. I do, however, believe that it is our responsibility as a community to reach out and pull those greatly marginalized persons out of their assigned cages and show them that knowing they are indeed free is the first step to living freely.
Many of us have good intentions but we are operating with a radical spirit, attacking our brothers and sisters for simply not having the same perspective and conviction.
Going forward, let us work to cultivate a new attitude of affirmation within our community. Let us recognize that we have all been damaged in some way, and each of us are functioning at our maximum capabilities through the oppression we are operating under. Let us push one another, and allow ourselves to be pushed out of our comfort zones of conformity and the safety in submission.
Take some time to reflect on your attitude toward your community as a trans* person, and how you are positively or negatively impacting the esteem of the community.
We all have a responsibility to give and take from the collective pot, here. What are YOU doing to reach out and reach up? Remember that our liberation and advancement as a people stem from recognizing the human factor in all of us. We must make a daily conscious effort to sacrifice our own unique reservations and sensitivities in order to promote the power we all possess to create change.
Remember guys, it is not “Me, happy trans” but “WE, happy trans.”
– Noah Nomad