Thursday, June 12, 2014

PRIDE Spokane 2014 in 2 days

In two days we will have PRIDE in Spokane. Our annual event dedicated to all things queer has been both work and fun for me for the last 5 years.
But this year is a bit different. This year I will walk in with fear of my peers.

The recent online wars over unacceptable trans* slurs between gay men and transsexual women has already spilled over at PRIDE in Los Angeles. In private spaces and here on this blog women have shared stories with me that describe negative behavior.
Trans* women have always reported being treated as less than at various PRIDE events.
These stories float through the community and as a result a large number of TS folks refuse to participate.
Which hastens the eventual split of LGB and T I see on the horizon.
Now I am not particularly thrilled that it is coming to it. Not at all. Just I feel I have read the tea leaves so to speak and they say the LGBT is going to go the way of OutServe-SLDN.

Back to PRIDE.
I know trans* people locally who will not go to this years PRIDE due to years of reported abuse and the recent on-line abuse of trans* women. I know a much larger number of trans* people across the nation who will not participate in their local PRIDE due to these issues.
Now there will be trans* people at the various PRIDE events this year and well into the future.
Trans* have been associated in the common with gay. It is a very wrong association but it is what it is.

Just because you see trans* people at your local PRIDE event does not mean that the T is on board with the LGB. It is not a signal that all is well.
When you go to PRIDE this year, look for the old guard T people and see how few of us are there. The newbie with the bright eyes and full of passion for the greater cause is nothing of an indication of how the T feel about the LGB at this time. That is called shiny bright newbie syndrome and it wears off fast.
Look to the social war weary eyes of the few old guard trans* people for the real answer. The guarded conversations with formerly gung ho human rights warriors may be a hint of wear our hearts are at.

Now I am a firm believer in community and working together, but I also understand human nature. Sometimes you have to tear down and re-build. As it stands we have a completely shaky structure. I understand those who are madly trying to shore up the structure. If you get the right braces in place you might just make things solid enough to withstand the test of time. I get that. But I do not think the building can ever be saved at this point.
A complete tear down and re-build is in order. Then we can get back to work as a community. Until then we just have a clusterfuck and no one likes a clusterfuck.


Billie said...

Hear, hear!

I, too, feel dis-enfrancised. I'm usually discounted when I'm just trying to be me!

I wish you all the best!