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An interesting conundrum: Are we harming the LGBT movement?

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androgynouspainter26:
This is stemming from a conversation I had on facebook earlier today; just to be clear, what I'm saying here is purely for discussion's sake, and by no means reflects my own personal views.  It's just a thought experiment.  Before anyone goes into a rant about how our communities are different-I KNOW THAT THE TRANS COMMUNITY AND GAY COMMUNITY ARE DIFFERENT!!!!  However, our oppression stems from the same source, and there have been close ties between us for many decades.  Anyhow, onto the conundrum:

As I'm sure most of you know, post-stonewall, the mainstream gay rights movement did everything in it's power to gain public acceptance; they did this by saying to everyone "we are just like you".  Well, certainly this is true of some, but obviously there are many members of the queer community that aren't like everyone else: Drag queens, trans women, and fem guys among many others were essentially banned from the movement for many, many years, our needs ignored, and our voices silenced.  The reasoning?  Our presence in the community would only alienate the community from mainstream hetoronormitive america.  And, looking at how commonplace gay and lesbian acceptance is in this day and age, I can't help but wonder: Would this progress have been possible if we had been included?

The narrative that the gay rights movement has been spouting for years is: We have no choice, we are just like you, we only want the right to love who we choose.  What about bi/pansexual people?  We have a choice.  You better believe that we're undermining that part of the naritive.  Just like you?  This may apply to normative assimilist (usually white) monogamous gay couples, but what about poly folks, and trans people-people in general who upset the norms of gender?  And the needs of trans people stem far beyond marriage equality.  But, people feel uncomfortable around us.  I feel sick saying this, but in a way I do believe that if we had been included, the gay rights movement would have been utterly hopeless.  We make people feel uncomfortable.  That's a fact.

Even now, looking at the face of the trans* rights movement, it's clear to me that people who don't conform to traditional standards of gender are not at all welcome.  And, that makes me wonder...as a queer trans woman who does not (yet?) pass without question, am I harming the movement?  Should I be trying to help the community, when it's entirely possible my very existence may be putting the rights of thousands of passable, straight transexuals in jeopardy?  I'm genuinely worried about this.  I desperately want to help the community, but I sometimes wonder if I'd be helping the community most if I just kept my head down and let the "normal" people do the talking.

What do you think?  Is putting aside the needs of the few in order to allow the many to gain mainstream acceptance, even if it comes at the cost of our rights?  I don't have an easy answer to this.  I'd love to start a conversation about this-it's an interesting if incredibly uncomfortable topic. 

Beverly:
Help yourself first. You cannot help others if you are struggling.

Elis:
Yeah help yourself first but there needs to be more gender non conforming, sexuality 'non conforming' (the sexualities most people know nothing about like pansexuals and asexuals ) and people with different types of relationships like poly that you have mentioned in the public eye to make the difference we need. I don't think it's harming the LGBTQ movement just finally give the full picture of the different types of people there are. I believe we have finally come to the point where trans people are recognised by society, both in terms of equal rights and people generally know what that word means (even though they are under the impression that we 'become another gender). Like the gay movement in the 70s onwards and the strides they have made to get to the point where they have mostly acceptance, understanding and equal rights; now is the time for the other people we haven't given much attention to before. I really think in another 40 yrs coming out as trans, or non binary or pan will just be as normal as coming out as gay. I can't wait.

Dee Marshall:
In a very real sense, they gained acceptance through a lie. The fact that we give truth to the lie and they get bitten on the butt is not our fault, it's theirs. This is the same situation other minorities find themselves in.

Devlyn:

--- Quote from: androgynouspainter26 on January 02, 2015, 01:48:41 am ---This is stemming from a conversation I had on facebook earlier today; just to be clear, what I'm saying here is purely for discussion's sake, and by no means reflects my own personal views.  It's just a thought experiment.  Before anyone goes into a rant about how our communities are different-I KNOW THAT THE TRANS COMMUNITY AND GAY COMMUNITY ARE DIFFERENT!!!!  However, our oppression stems from the same source, and there have been close ties between us for many decades.  Anyhow, onto the conundrum:

As I'm sure most of you know, post-stonewall, the mainstream gay rights movement did everything in it's power to gain public acceptance; they did this by saying to everyone "we are just like you".  Well, certainly this is true of some, but obviously there are many members of the queer community that aren't like everyone else: Drag queens, trans women, and fem guys among many others were essentially banned from the movement for many, many years, our needs ignored, and our voices silenced.  The reasoning?  Our presence in the community would only alienate the community from mainstream hetoronormitive america.  And, looking at how commonplace gay and lesbian acceptance is in this day and age, I can't help but wonder: Would this progress have been possible if we had been included?

The narrative that the gay rights movement has been spouting for years is: We have no choice, we are just like you, we only want the right to love who we choose.  What about bi/pansexual people?  We have a choice.  You better believe that we're undermining that part of the naritive.  Just like you?  This may apply to normative assimilist (usually white) monogamous gay couples, but what about poly folks, and trans people-people in general who upset the norms of gender?  And the needs of trans people stem far beyond marriage equality.  But, people feel uncomfortable around us.  I feel sick saying this, but in a way I do believe that if we had been included, the gay rights movement would have been utterly hopeless.  We make people feel uncomfortable.  That's a fact.

Even now, looking at the face of the trans* rights movement, it's clear to me that people who don't conform to traditional standards of gender are not at all welcome.  And, that makes me wonder...as a queer trans woman who does not (yet?) pass without question, am I harming the movement?  Should I be trying to help the community, when it's entirely possible my very existence may be putting the rights of thousands of passable, straight transexuals in jeopardy?  I'm genuinely worried about this.  I desperately want to help the community, but I sometimes wonder if I'd be helping the community most if I just kept my head down and let the "normal" people do the talking.

What do you think?  Is putting aside the needs of the few in order to allow the many to gain mainstream acceptance, even if it comes at the cost of our rights?  I don't have an easy answer to this.  I'd love to start a conversation about this-it's an interesting if incredibly uncomfortable topic.

--- End quote ---

Right there. Like most people, they weren't seeking equality for all, they just want admission to the big club that's allowed to kick minorities around.

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