getting under the trans umbrella
May 9, 2014
just saw a post on tumblr discussing whether or not drag queens and crossdressers are under the trans umbrella…
and, of course, most of the people were saying that they aren”t under the umbrella…
let”s take a peek at the words of one of the people who helped shape the current boundaries of the umbrella Denise Norris guest blogging at Transgriot:
The origin of Transgender
In the early 1990s, ‘transgender” was repurposed by a various groups of transsexuals in the US to basically include anyone whose gender expression was non-conforming with society”s expectations. There were several reasons for this and one of them was because people with atypical gender identities do not always identify as transsexual.
As we searched for our collective identity, we asked ourselves: “Who are we to judge another”s gender identity solely on the basis of how they choose to express it? How can we know what is in the heart of another without knowing the person behind the presentation? Would we not achieve the height of hypocrisy to comment the same sins upon others to which we so strenuously object when others deny our gender identity and our desire to express it?
To us, the answer was obvious and expanded our associations to include crossdressers, drag, butch and every other non-conforming gender expression under the rainbow.
Note the language here: ‘transgender” was primarily conceived as an umbrella term for gender expression. The person speaking here is a white trans woman.
now, obviously shit changes and boundaries re-define themselves, all i”m trying to say here is that interpreting drag queens and crossdressers as belonging under the umbrella is valid.
what i”d like to see, rather than people defending the boundaries of ‘trans” and what is or isn”t covered by the umbrella, is better recognition of the reality that any kind of umbrella, particularly any with roots with white discourse, is an imperialistic mess.
that the umbrella is a lie. the ~trans community~ is something that doesn”t, in fact, actually exist.
people getting all fucking worked up about trying to decide whether or not this group or that group is under the trans umbrella only serve to reify the notion of that very umbrella
and, lest ppl forget, the fiction that there is an ~umbrella~, that there is a ~trans community~
hurts trans women of colour most
something to keep in mind as you defend ur castles made of shit</p>