“We are real people, beautiful people”Posted: November 9, 2010
This post by little light at Questioning Transphobia is a deeply moving, powerful piece on the inhumanity of transphobia and gender normativity. I highly recommend reading all of it, and re-reading it. I don’t know how much of it I can quote, but the crux of it is this: It is a moral issue that our community is full of despair and self-hatred and self-disgust. It is not a matter of rights. It is not a matter of laws or votes or commandments. It is a moral issue. It is a theological issue. It is an issue of fundamental, basic human-ness.
This is the absolute bottom line for me, and the reason why I care so much about gender equality. It’s the reason why this blog exists, and why it has the name it does. Misogyny and transphobia, like all forms of systematic oppression, dehumanize people, not in an abstract academic or philosophical way, but in real, concrete ways. They kill people. That’s not hyperbole, that’s just a fact. Real, actual human beings are murdered in cold blood just because they are trans, just because they are women. For no reason other than that their sex or gender identity made them less than fully human in someone’s eyes. For no other reason than that our misogynist, gender normative society marked them as ‘other,’ as transgressors of the “natural” order of things. Real, actual human beings are denied desperately needed medical care and left to suffer and die, just because they are trans, just because they are women. Real, actual human beings are systematically denied jobs, thrown out and cut off by their families, beaten, and abused. Real, actual human beings are daily bombarded by messages that they are worthless, that they’re wrong and perverted, and too often believe these messages to the point of believing they have no right to live.
This is disgusting. It’s evil. It’s immoral. I know some of my Christian friends and family wonder why I’m so “obsessed” with supporting trans rights, gay rights, and women’s rights. This is why. Because people are dying and suffering and it’s on us. It’s our moral responsibility to fight this. And frankly, of all people “Bible-believing” Christians should be at the forefront of defending the rights of women and TBLG people if they truly believe what their Bible says: Do unto others and you would have done unto you. All are created in God’s image. There is no male or female in Christ Jesus. “Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me. Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” And instead self-identified followers of Christ as out there defending people who bully and abuse women and TBLG folk.
There’s no in between on this. There’s no option to be neutral in the face of the vicious abuse and bigotry that people face because of misogyny and transphobia. I’m not under any illusions that I’m morally pure. I know I have much to learn; I know I have internalized misogynist and transphobic ideas, that fighting them will be a lifetime’s work, and sometimes I will fuck up, perhaps royally. But I know that being in solidarity with fellow human beings against oppression is a moral obligation. We have do something. Inaction and silence are death.