All you folks think you run my life
Say I should be willing to compromise
I say all you demons go back to hell
I’ll save my soul save myself…
-Tracy Chapman, “Crossroads”
i’ve had a hell of a bad week, folks; without going into explicit detail, it’s been full of things i don’t really want to deal with. and i say this not because i want your pity but because i am indeed at a crossroads, much like the one Ms. Chapman mentions in referencing a certain Robert Johnson tune, “Cross Road Blues”, which is supposedly about selling your soul to the Devil but is really about being Black and trying to get the hell out of Clarksdale, Mississippi before dark.
i’ve come to a point of frustration, you see. my stupid idealism has run into a sandbar and i realize that no matter how much theory i can hit it with, the “trans community” as we know it, mindlessly following the transfundamentalist thought process, has no desire to change and those of us who do not fit their very narrow definitions, i realize, are never going to be allowed in. theory, even if 15,000 of you have read it (and thanks for each and every one of those 15,000 views, readers…it’s quite humbling!) isn’t changing anything, and i feel like there’s this bad moment where i look back and realize i’m fighting a battle that is completely futile. i feel not unlike Mylène Farmer at the end of the “Desénchantée” video [TW: violence against children, gulag setting], where all there is is tundra all around. i’m still isolated and i don’t see that’s going to change anytime soon, and there’s never going to be a local outlet which isn’t the 300-pound gorilla which is the support group structure here, and that 300-pound gorilla is very fond of its isms and phobias because they keep a very narrow transfundamentalist mindset in charge. rather than open their resources to people who don’t attend the support group, they keep them locked down with an iron fist, and nobody gets any information. i’ve asked nicely, more than once, why they can’t publish a current version of their resource list in the name of broadening the availability of their information for those of us who need trans-friendly medical professionals, and those of y’all who need to know safe electrologists, laser providers, voice therapists, clothing stores, etc. i’ve asked, extremely politely, about six times over the past four years…they’ve never answered their email once…you do the math.
the problem is twofold, as these problems always are: the trans woman fairy tale that once you’re post-transition you have no need for community or trans-friendly anything because you can go to “any doctor” and you have “normal friends” and all is toxic and blatantly, completely false; when you couple this with the culture of exclusion, well-summarized in A Heinous Butch’s “Communities Built on Exclusion”, you end up with a treehouse built on these lies, but this is definitely a rehash of things we already have discussed at length and this is a recap of the problem, no more. i do think it’s terribly curious that the HBSer “successful transsexuals” stay in the scene to run things when they’re post-transition but they ridicule someone like me for reaching out from the position of being post-transition. it’s very, very confusing, but like all their double standards, it’s not to be questioned unless you want them lashing out at you.
i guess what i’m wondering is how the hell to persevere and get around the treehouse and to convince people who are working to uphold it who would ordinarily be more rational that they need to stop aiding and abetting our own oppression because they think they have to or that it’s the only way they can buy safety. the internet is great and all, but it’s limited, and travel isn’t an option for everyone given that it’s expensive and it doesn’t solve problems like a wholesale lack of medical access (or access to information about trans-friendly medical providers) in your area. it doesn’t solve that local isolation is frustrating to deal with because when you travel and return home, it’s right back into the darkness…i’m dealing with that this week, actually.
the crossroads i’m at is that i don’t know how to do this, and i don’t think any of us has the brilliant idea which will fix everything. i’ve got no map here, and i’m pretty lost…i wonder how we can build safer space online…you know, like what forums like trueselves promise and fail horribly to deliver on, because i think that would end up being part of how to build safer space offline and avoid the treehouses that keep many of us out and keep trans and questioning people from being able to ask questions and learn in safer space. it would be nice to be able to have space where you don’t have to edit yourself for safety from self-appointed judgmental and hateful queen bees, but…i don’t know how to do it, and the inability to come up with answers is frustrating and flustering me. i’ve come to the conclusion things will never change without building community, but i don’t know how to build community and i don’t know how to get around the treehouse. i’d love to hear your ideas…because how can we grow without each other working together? that shouldn’t just be an option for those who are “perfect” enough for the transfundamentalists, it should be an option for all of us. now how the hell do we do it?