Let’s talk about Marsha P. Johnson
Some of you might be pissed about this but I’m sick of pretending and acting like I’m not mad every pride about this.
You might have heard of Marsha P Johnson, the person credited with throwing the first brick and being key to triggering the Stonewall Riot. That’s true! You may also have heard Marsha P Johnson described as a transgender woman. That is NOT true. Marsha P Johnson was a drag queen and an activist for gay and transgender issues — but she was male. She had (like many gay men have) issues with her identity as a male because her non-typical gender expression and enjoyment of the female pronouns. However, near the end of her life she decided not to pursue gender affirmation surgery and hormone replacement therapy, and decided she was most comfortable living as a man, regardless of the way she expressed her gender. All of this information can be found by viewing interviews she gave days before her death.
The reason I get so upset about this, is because the new gender movement has begun to create a new binary, and it harms not only kids coming up with questions about their gender, but it’s beginning to rewrite history, and I refuse to let it happen.
Gender identity and gender expression don’t exist exclusively within two poles, folks, I’m happy to tell you. There is more than male and female, as most GLBTIQ people know. That’s well established to everyone but the most clueless of heterosexuals and the most pathetic of homosexuals. But, there’s another binary–a new binary, that is not only as harmful as the male/female binary, but often embraced by GLBTIQ people and aggressively argued by activists. That is the cis/trans binary. The idea that there are only transgender people and cisgender people. Either a person’s gender identity matches with their assigned gender, or their identity does not match that gender assignment. On the surface, this sounds reasonable. However, consider Marsha P Johnson. Based on this definition, Marsha would be cisgender.
But was she? I think Marsha P Johnson was something beyond cis or trans, and I see so many kids walking that same path and made to feel uncomfortable with a non-typical gender expression while identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth. I’m one of those kids. I’m a dude. When I wear jeans, a tee and a baseball cap, I’m a dude. When I wear an A-line swing dress, heels and a full face of makeup I’m still a dude. And, I have a message for all of you. That is absolutely okay. I can be a man and identify as a man and wear dresses and makeup. I don’t have to identify as genderqueer or agender to do it. Being a man is not adhering to male gender stereotypes. Being a woman is not adhering to female gender stereotypes. You can resist them, violate them and toss them aside without tossing your gender identity out along with them. Just like Marsha P Johnson did.
Documentary about Marsha P Johnson. WATCH IT ALL!