Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
At least, I thought I was before I met Tumblr.
Tumblr has been an accidental blessing for me. The theraputic gains I was hoping for when I started this blog have been exactly what I wanted. While I am happy about that, there was a side affect that I was not planning on. I fucked up and learned something!
That almost sounded positive, didn’t it?
It’s really not. It was a glaring omission of my “Friendship” with the LGBTQ Community. I was sure that I was the best friend that the community has ever had. Hell, ever will have. I fought all the right battles and said all the right things. I signed all the right petitions and checked all the right boxes. I was the very best. I was the greatest LGB Ally ever. Yeah, I sort of forgot about the TQ part. Not only did I forget about that portion of the community, I forgot to actually LEARN about that portion of the community.
I was a “Fag hag” and a “Fruit Fly” (Depending on where I was in my own life) and a family member to those that didn’t have family of their own. What else is there, right? I believed in equal rights, I didn’t see anyone as “Odd” or “Different.” I was, the worst version of “Non-Trans Phobic” that there is. I’m not Trans Phobic, just like I wasn’t then. However, today I know that there is a LOT of work I have to do to unlearn my cis thinking. I didn’t know that before I came to Tumblr. To me, the fact that I never had to unlearn things about gay people meant that I was cool with the whole damn community.
Guess what Tumblr told me. HELL NO! Tumblr was correct.
The “Non-Trans Phobic” ally in me was/is so uneducated that I was Trans Phobic. Even if unintentionally.
Things that should be the “Norm” for a considerate person, a thinking person were not and still aren’t the norm for me. For example, things that I see some of you do with ease, like ask what people’s preferred pronouns are. This is so foreign to me. It shouldn’t be but even now, when someone asks me, it throws me for a second. The question is something I have to consider, just based on the shock of hearing it. What is this person asking me? Then, the horrible realization of the many people I have talked to and never asked them theirs. This is NOT the act of a “Non-Trans Phobic” person. It is my job to know. It is my job to know what I don’t know.
Why am I telling you all of this? Two reason.
First, for transparency. I don’t think I can ever write a post saying “An ally should do this, this and this” without first acknowledging that no, I haven’t always (and still sometimes) been are REAL ally. More importantly, that I, even now, don’t always follow my own rules for allies and that MUST change if I ever hope to ask others to be good allies for my community. For that matter, it must change in order for me to a whole human being. I can’t ever call myself “Good” or “Right” if I don’t do good and right by others.
The second reason is that I want something from you. Yep, I want something from you. Part of the change that will come to this blog will be the ongoing transparency in my own self correction. What I would like from you is the name of other blogs. Specifically, blogs that are about Trans People. People that talk about things I should know as an ally. Next week, starting Monday (April 9) I will start to implement changes to this blog. Sometime during that week, I will ask for any advice and I’ll go from there. No, of course you aren’t expected to have an answer for me. Still, I am going to ask and hope that I get something.
Frankly, I have no excuse for not knowing better, not knowing more and not acting, myself the way a decent human being should act.
I will do better.