Monday, January 29, 2018
Why trans rights matter. My statement for trans visibility day in Brazil.
Today is trans visibility day in Brazil.
And so, of course, there's a performance of "The Gospel According to Jesus Queen Of Heaven" in Sao Paulo, and interview being broadcast with Renata Carvalho, the trans actress who plays Queen Jesus.
(This makes me proud)
A Brazilian newspaper asked me why the struggle for trans rights is important.
And I said:
Some years ago, when I was beginning to live as a woman, a man stopped me in the street and said “Excuse me madam”.
Everyone was misgendering me those days and the fact that at last someone had got it right made me so happy.
But then he started to apologise.
He said he was sorry over and over again. He said I should kick him up the arse.
And at first I couldn’t understand. Why did he have to say he was so sorry?
Then I understood. At first he had seen me as a woman. But now he was seeing me as a man. And for him calling a man a woman was a terrible insult.
So he helped me understand that at the root of transphobia is misogyny.
Around the same time another man stopped me and said: “But you’re a man”. In incredulity and disgust. As if to say: “How could you so debase yourself?”
So each time trans women assert ourselves as proud to be women we are resisting misogyny and patriarchal oppression.
At the same time, these men were making it clear that I represent something in themselves thatchy were terribly afraid of: their own feminine selves.
For every man has a woman inside him just as every woman has a man inside her.
Wisdom and happiness come from honouring both.
So the liberation of trans women is connected to the liberation of women, and to the liberation of men as well.
And so also to the liberation of humanity.
And that is why it matters.
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