It has been pretty fashionable the past 12 months or so to include transgender issues in the media. I don’t know about you, but personally I’m getting bored of it. Before the gates of hell open up and swallow me hole for saying such a terrible thing, I would like to explain why.
Firstly, its not just the TV or the latest buzzfeed article that goes on about transgender issues. Often there are articles talking about how “hot” passing trans people are or some petty cis parent “worried” about the corruption of their child because trans kids are in schools.
You see, whilst some things can be very productive and informative, often the posts and videos that get posted are often to cause a reaction to non trans folk or littered with inaccuracies because no actual research has been done. They often push surgeries, hormones and binary treatment as if its just the one path everyone takes. Also because of Caitlin Jenner everyone thinks the transformation is really quick and that we shouldn’t be so stressed out about how long it actually takes to “fully transition”. You never get told in the media that you are looking at about 10 years from start to finish, and that’s if you are a open and shut typical case. You never get told that you see about a million different doctors even before you get a chance to be on hormones alone. You also never get told properly about non binary people existing, or that gender isn’t just solely one thing that’s either masculine or feminine. We are often pressured to even hate parts of our body that we didn’t even hate before.
The bathroom posts, whilst helpful are also a hindrance too.
The thing is MOST pieces that hit mainstream media haven’t even been written by trans or non binary people. Media only wants to talk about either the bathroom issues or what genital surgery is like. There is nothing about what WE actually want. And god forbid that you bring up trans people who choose to not or cannot pass. We are constantly told that our worth is based solely on how well we present as the gender we are or how far along on our transition we are. All the bathroom “photo protests” are mainly with people who pass so well, they wouldn’t even be “questioned” in the first place.
The people the bathroom bills affect are the trans people that do not pass. It mainly affects trans women too. People are protesting about “how men shouldn’t be in the women’s toilets” and trust me, those people do not even think that there are female assigned at birth trans people. In fact anti trans protesters have openly said that “women in men’s bathrooms” is entirely different because there is no threat. Its bullshit, but guys we need to start fighting for the women who need us to fight now. Us walking into women’s bathrooms in protest is not helping the cause, its only making it worse.
I am at a point of privilege, whilst I’m not passing all the time, I get treated with male privilege often, regardless of my gender identity. I am also white and whilst I am not physically able and have disabilities, I am still given platforms in order to talk, and be listened to. I however am still trans and I still get discriminated on a weekly basis and constantly questioned about my genitals. I admin online in quite a cis white dominated environment and when I joined I was the first openly queer person working with “The neckbeards” It hasn’t run smoothly in the slightest and negative attention has been given to myself and one of my partners because of this. So you can imagine how bored you must get when the media goes on about trans issues when you yourself are on social media very publicly.
I’m not saying that all the media coverage needs to stop, I’m just saying that if trans issues are going to be blasted all over the planet, at least let it get written by trans people please.