If only…

If only there was more I could do for my trans tribe that are facing oppression from all sides on the other side of the world.

From government, from trans exclusionary feminists, from Trump supporters, from fundamentalist and evangelical Christian groups.

It seems, at least in the current environment of the world we live in that being trans and not being in the USA provides a layer of privilege that those who are in the US don’t have. It’s a thin veil of privilege but nevertheless it is there.

I’m Australian, and of course, I face issues of bigotry and discrimination in being a visible trans woman as I go about my daily life. But I don’t face the terrible shit that my trans tribe in the US do.

I have friends that are just simply too scared to be visible, scared for their lives, and these are white trans women! I can’t begin to comprehend the fear that trans people of colour experience in these current times.

As I’ve scrolled social media over these last few days I have been astounded and stupefied by the anti trans content I have seen. A so called leader of the free world declaring us unfit to serve in a county’s military. In response horrible so-called Christian leaders applauding such bigotry and hate and even in some cases taking credit for it.

As well as this allies of our tribe, have attempted to show us support by sharing content of the fictional character Corporal Clinger from MASH frame. The intention I believe by these people was absolutely one of support for our tribe. The thing is though that this non-trans character is extremely problematic.

Clinger was never trans.

Clinger was interested only in escaping his service for the military by any means possible.

Clinger believed that dressing as a woman would ensure him a discharge under the Section 8 proviso as he would be deemed insane.

Clinger wasn’t eve a drag queen in the real sense of what that entails.

Clinger was and remains problematic.

Holding up a cis male – and yes clinger was a cis male, if you doubt that then you should look up the MASH finale episode ‘Goodbye Farewell and Amen’ – who spent his entire military career doing everything they could to escape it as an example of how trans military service is already in place and would continue to be so and that it would be positive, is at its core problematic.

Clinger was a plot device. We trans people are pretty used to having our existence used as plot device, a function to gain a laugh, to provide the audience with comedy, invariable we are the brunt of that, instead of having our lives portrayed in real and cogent ways we are reduced to the whims of a director attempting to use us to make a laugh.

The clinger memes that emerged are transphobic and transantagonistic. I am thankful, even within this, that I saw some allies learn and discuss and realise the truth of this.

If only I could do more to support my US trans tribe. I wish there was more I could do, but I stand with you. I will share your stories and stand strong and visible as a trans woman and make no apology for my existence.

If only I could do more. I will continue to comment and critique what I see that is problematic, as much as I can. But I wish I could do more.

In my privileged place of being able to be out and visible and for the most part safe, I will speak against the tyranny of the major shift to bigotry and hatred for my tribe.

If only I could do more.

To my American friends I implore you to think about how you actually can do more. The question for you is not so much if only I could do more, but indeed what more can I do.

Perhaps I can stand against bathroom bills, against the repeals of laws giving trans students safety and access to the bathrooms of their choice.

And yes, of course it is about so much more than just bathroom rights, but if we have to fight tooth and nail just for the human right of being feeling and being safe to use a public bathroom facility, then Houston we certainly have a problem.

If only, if only my tribe was as free to exist and thrive as the cis straight tribe are free to.