Hi, ya’ll! Thanks for all the reblogging, following, and favoriting. This has to have been one of my favorite class projects, ever.
So, the thing is, our class is over and thus the project (which is why we’ve been on hiatus since December). But I loved contributing to this blog and reading everything my group posted, it looks like many other folks do too, so I was wondering if any of you were interested in being a regular contributor so we can keep it going. Any takers?
Also, if there is enough interest, I may open it up to submissions? Let me know via message or comment!
Can’t wait to hear from you!
While explicitly stating all are welcome, this poster forecloses the existence of individuals who do not conform to the gender binary. (It is also interesting to note, though this may be me reading too much into it, the order in which the figures are arranged. In a society that reads from left to right, this creates a hierarchy of what appears to be gay couples, then lesbian couples, then straight couples, and then single men and single women. Of all the possible orders, why did the artist choose this one?)
I read it as binary because the figures used to illustrate it are historically used to symbolize the two socially constructed binary sexes/genders, male=man, female=woman. As such, whether they are cross dressing or not, whether it was the artists’ conscious intention or not, it still perpetuates the idea that there are only two possible gender-expressions, or that those are and should be the dominant ones. There is no room, or space, in other words, for other types of expressions of gender, for other sexes, for folks who would see this and feel “othered.”
The phrase says “All are welcome here,” but the illustration forecloses the possibilities of that “all.”
It’s easy to get absorbed in our own problems. Between dealing with unsupportive parents, hostile work environments, tricky legal issues, and medical nightmares, most of us hardly have any time to think about anything else. As trans* men in particular, it’s difficult to remember we’re not the only ones under the “T”. Our voices are so loud on sites like youtube and tumblr, we tend to drown out or forget trans* women.
This is troublesome, because it allows us to forget that transgender women (particularly women of color) are disproportionately the target of hate crimes, that 44% of LGBTQ murder victims are trans* women, that trans* women have particular difficulty accessing health care and enormously high rates of HIV, and that they are so frequently (far more frequently than transgender men) the butt of jokes in the media (take, for example, the recent Family Guy episode called “Quagmire’s Dad).
Of course the point of this post is not to play the oppression olympics, but to issue a call to every individual who considers themselves a transgender activist or member of the trans* community: DO NOT FORGET YOUR TRANS* SISTERS. Trans* women in our society are often the victims of transmisogyny (what happens when sexism and transphobia climb into bed together) and face unique issues that are often glossed over when the struggle over trans* issues focuses on trans* men (and transmasculine individuals in general). Yes, as trans* men we have it hard. We have it very hard, but at the moment we have more privilege than trans* women and we should not use that privilege to abandon them the way transgender people have so often been abandoned by the GLB movement.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is fast approaching (Nov 28th) and is the perfect reminder that this is not just about us (in fact, it is hardly about trans* men at all), it is about them too. We are all under the “T”.