Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Reblogged from Tudo Bom(b)

When I first saw this article, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. At first I was like oh-my-lack-of-a-god mainstream progressiveness, Joe Biden, if I wanted kids, I'd want yours. Or something equally full of endorphins and wonder and joy. Fuck yeah transgender rights being recognized as a leitimate and important issue that affects more than the ver slim percentage of our country that identifies with a gender that does not traditionally correspond to the sex to which they were born. Fuck yeah that recognition coming at the hands of our kick-ass Vice President. Just fuck yeah.

But then I took a step back and said, wait a minute, THE issue of our time? THE ISSUE? What about the war on women as the issue of our time? Mass incarceration/the war on drugs? What about quality education? Affirmative action? Closing the wealth gap between the rich and the poor? Immigration? I felt like I could go on and on listing issues that seemed...bigger than trans discrimination. Not bigger as in more important (because no one should ever play oppression olympics), but bigger as in more visible and affecting significantly larger portions of the population. Granted, it's silly to call anything THE issue because that makes all other issues invisible, marks the as insignificant...but if I had to pick an issue to be THE issue, I didn't think it would be trans discrimination.

I brought this point up to SO (aka the girl formerly known as Choosing Pancakes), asking don't we need gender equality before we can touch trans equality with a ten foot pole? As I thought and typed it, this statement seemed like fact to me, so I was surprised when she disagreed. SO quite literally flipped the script, saying that in her opinion, we need trans equality before we can have gender equality.

I had to lean back in my chair and think about that one. I was going to write it off as being a chicken-or-egg scenario, but then I caught myself and remembered that trans identities are inherently bigger and more complicated than gender identities. Trans is the intersection of socially constructed gender and biological sex--focusing on trans equality would force us to consciously and actively recognize the legitimacy of the separateness of those categories, which can only help the fight for gender equality. In celebrating fluidity, growth, change, and self-acceptance, the trans movement benefits us all. We can't achieve gender parity until we recognize the unlimitations of gender. Trans>gender. And Joe Biden is still a BAMF.    

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