the letter z

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-04-19

There are several analogies for being trans, but I’ve been mulling over one in particular.

Being trans is like swallowing a bit of poison, every day. You are spoon fed this poison by society, and I’m sure you’re all aware how it’s delivered to you: living as a trans person in a predominantly cis society is fraught with danger. But we are also fed the poison by hearing how other trans people are experiencing the poison in their lives as well, we are fed the poison by hearing about others’ struggles, we are fed the poison by the stupidity and casual transphobia rampant in the world.

We ingest a lot of this toxicity over our lifetime.Luckily, from what I imagine, we’ve grown quite tolerant to it.

For me, at least, I can swallow that poison, but up to a point. It becomes too much every now and then, and I need to detoxify. There is an allure to the poison, however; it feeds the anger that has been developing recently, the outrage, the fire. But it’s unhealthy, and I need to avoid it, at least until I feel ready to ingest the poison again.

Except you can’t escape it completely, unless you shut yourself off from the world entirely. You can’t zone out and watch television without the mainstream media deciding to sensationalize some minor fact because someone involved tangentially or not were trans, or watch a movie unless you’ve seen it before and are aware that there’s no references to trans people that are going to make you feel like slamming your fist through a hard object. The poison makes its way to you one way or another. It will be fed to you one way or another, and all you can do is delay the next dose.

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3 Responses

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  1. queenemily said, on 2010-06-22 at 9:26 pm

    It’s a good analogy. I feel this way a lot of the time. There’s no real safety from being reminded how transphobic a culture you live in. Even “escapist” entertainment does it constantly, and if not that then the ads in between…

  2. chartreuseflamethrower said, on 2010-08-02 at 3:11 pm

    Definitely. My partner gets frustrated that I’ll be enjoying a [tv show/movie/webcomic/whatever] and then get furious when it makes a bigoted, busted joke. It really is everywhere. If it’s not one thing it’s another, and it’s next to impossible to avoid. I’ve even had to stop reading trans webcomics because they were so hateful against “non-passing” trans people and drew them as ugly, bitter, angry people who had it out for “passable” (young transitioners, beautiful, couldn’t be called trans unless someone who knew htem “before” recognized them) trans people.

    It’s impossible to escape it, it really is. No wonder I want to drown myself in a language I only half-understand.

  3. Binary Subverter said, on 2010-11-11 at 11:31 pm

    […] being a man or a woman when people don’t believe you are, growing up with horrible abuse, and being spoon-fed poisonous lies about your existence day after day. Now add into that that, by all accounts, you don’t exist. You will never flip on the TV and […]


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