#TransFolksAreNotJokes

#TransFolksAreNotJokes

#TransWomenAreNotJokes

Trans women are treated like jokes to you all.

We’re disposable.

Objects, to be poked fun at, seen as entertainment and comedic fodder.

No one blinks an eye at trans people being degraded, exploited, harassed, or murdered.

As many of you see and keep scrolling when you come across jokes and memes and hints and insults aimed at transgender and gender non-conforming people.

As many times as people actually debate our humanity and worthiness, if we deserve to be alive and to have jobs and to use the bathroom and to go to school and if we even know our own names.

As many times as people choose fake stories about how dangerous trans people are. How quickly everyone hides behind ignorance or lack of contact with trans people or not enough information to guide us. A cheap way to avoid going against the masses and saying trans people actually have just as much right to live as any of us do.

As many times as trans people’s contributions, trans history and legacy, trans bodies and language and autonomy and service is stolen, plagiarized, appropriated.

Nah.

You can’t tell me trans people are anything but a joke to us.

If not, who knows that you support trans people?

Are you in an uproar when media can only feature one trans character or storyline and uses trans people as foils for (presumably cis) gender and masculinity/femininity?

Are you comfortable with how often trans people are featured and PAID in programming that certainly uses the language, fashion, speech and colloquialisms, dialects, art and creativity, foods and traditions?!?

Are you proud of how cis women exclude, dismiss, and dehumanize trans women as if womanhood was something to be bargained for and earned in pieces? As if the weight of these laughs that cost us our LIVES was something that actually competes with PROVING that womanhood only comes through menses? That the ways we have commodified and objectified what makes one gender “less” than the other (the Dominant/the Aggressive/the Masculine) are actually worth defending at the expense of trans lives?

Oh.

So clear to me that this is not a joke. That you all take this completely seriously.

I remember victims of brutality showing their trans-exclusionary, homophobic, transphobic stripes…and trans and gnc and queer Black folx being beaten down for saying we deserve as much space and autonomy as the dearly departed, in our lives and beyond the grave.

For today at least, on center stage here are more (presumably cis) Black men — they are not demanding space and humanity and respect that’s been denied them, but jeering and laughing and encouraging cold blooded MURDER — and … there’s something to debate? To CONSIDER? To discuss?

Ah.

Got it.

Maybe I’d understand if I had the time to waste. Haven’t you heard? Dark skinned Black trans woman, here. Who, for whatever reason, has a history of engaging men and people with penises romantically and sexually.

That alone means that in the United States I may have a life expectancy of 35 years. Not from incurable disease or poverty or disaster. Just for the egos and sake of cis people’s “jokes.” For the laughs. To give cis people a little longer before they have to contemplate and confront their own gender and how people are dying to uphold it.

How fortunate for me to live in the U.S. The life expectancy is even less in other places where the U.S. and other powers have freer reign to limit access and visit injustice and depravity and genocide and war crimes without risking the bad rep at home.

How fortunate I have an education and the attractiveness and the charisma and the mental health support and financial support to seem to live as well as cis people bearing a fraction of my load.

Recently, it’s been a time to highlight the wage gap for some of us.

Like the gap when we can literally name three Black trans women making a more-than-living wage in media right now. A firestorm like this breaks in the news, and who do we pay? Who do we tap for resources and highlight? Who will replace the program post-boycott? Whose art are we demanding get its due from labels and execs? Whose stories can not be excluded and erased from the narrative of what it means to be Black, to be vulnerable, to be joyful, to be MAGIC?

Start at home. Use your voice.

I promise you are colluding and coddling and excusing and enforcing gender every single day. I promise there are people in your daily life who’d benefit from you putting yourself on the line to defend that gender is not a binary; that gender is not genitalia; that gender is not sexual preference; that sexual preference is healthy and safe and sexy and trusted and should be celebrated and protected.

Do not sit idle anymore and force trans and queer people to choose between surviving on crumbs, with bare tolerance, or choose possible and likely death for a chance of freedom, of community, of living a life as rich and diverse as we deserve to be.