If you’re not excited about the new Star Wars movie, you can’t be trusted as an ally to trans people

By , October 20, 2015 4:48 pm

As I hope you know, the trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released last night. Tickets went on sale, selling out and/or crashing servers all over the place. And I’m going to take a stand that I know we’ve all been thinking about, even if most of us haven’t been brave enough to say it: If you’re not excited about the new Star Wars, you can’t be trusted as an ally to trans people.

It’s pretty simple, really. Star Wars – the movie phenomenon launched in 1977 with the release of Episode IV: A New Hope – perfectly mirrors the rans experience. Allow me to  break it down:

Luke Skygenderidentitywalker

Luke Skygenderidentitywalker

Luke Skywalker is Gender Identity. Awkward, often disliked, unreasonably whiney. Doesn’t come into its own until the third act, after losing some body parts and building a new ‘lightsaber.’

Princess Leia is Gender Expression. Captured by the Evil Empire and forced to give up critical information when her planet is in crisis. Just like gender expression.

Han Solo is Confidence. This should be self explanatory.

Darth "Internalized Transphobia" Vader

Darth “Internalized Transphobia” Vader

Darth Vader is Internalized Transphobia. Led to hatred by someone pretending to be a supportive parent-figure, Darth “Internalized Transphobia” Vader is ultimately able to say that he is the only one in charge of his identity. And then he throws Transphobia down a giant pit.

The Emperor is Transphobia. Pushing his minion, Darth Vader, to do Transphobia’s bidding…whether he wants to or not.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is, I don’t know, Support Structures? Shut up, it makes sense.

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Signal Boost: How it Is To be Miss Tobi

By , October 20, 2015 2:16 pm

Got an email about this short (3 minute) YouTube video about Miss Tobi, a trans artist in Berlin. Enjoy!

Trans and non-dysphoric?

By , October 6, 2015 3:57 pm

I got an email today with a question: Do People that identify as trans or genderqueer but don’t have dysphoria make you angry?

For some background, there’s a growing population of people who identify as trans or genderqueer but don’t experience gender dysphoria, the distressing disconnect between one’s gender identity and physical sex commonly associated with trans identity and experience.

The short answer is, no, they don’t make me angry as a population or as a general identity. Everyday Feminism has a pretty good piece on why gender dysphoria isn’t (or shouldn’t be) needed to identify as trans, and the blog GenderTerror has some additional thoughts. The Everyday Feminism article covers most of what I want to say, so you should go read it. From that article:

It’s weird that some trans people are totally on-board with making a rulebook for transness, instead of encouraging people to self-identify and declare their gender identities for themselves.

When we allow other people to make the rules, we strip away the rights of trans people to self-identify. If we tell trans people that their identities don’t belong to them, we uphold a culture where the naming of gender identities belongs to outsiders instead of ourselves.

That said, there are certainly people who identify as trans and don’t experience gender dysphoria who do make me angry, and I’m open to talking about why

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