Posts Tagged ‘genderqueer’


Exilic Theology

30 December, 2017

A new study has shown that of the 100 largest churches in America 7 have a person of colour as their pastor, 1 has a woman as their pastor, and 0 are LGBTQ-affirming. A faith that once offered hospitality and hope to the disenfranchised and minoritised outsider has become the arm of the white, straight, cisgender man. We have seen this approach to faith before and we have seen how it ends:

Enslaved by monarchical theology in Egypt,

an exodus restored freedom to the oppressed.

Ruled by monarchical theology in a divided kingdom,

an exile restored commitment to the poor, the widow, and the orphan.

Dominated by monarchical theology under Rome, a pacifist Messiah ate and drank with tax collectors and sex workers and brought them salvation.

The church must abandon supremacist theology

or face a new exodus.

The church must abandon patriarchal theology

or face a new exile.

The church must listen to the messianic voices of and among the LGBTQ community

or they will lose the way to salvation.


A Place to Stand?

28 March, 2013

This is difficult to say, i really don’t think there are words that accurately reflect the depth of my emotions on the subject or the pain i feel when acknowledging the issues involved. After a lot of time and consideration i have come the conclusion that i cannot participate in the trans* communities and support groups in my area because there is not a space for me. When i go, i feel i don’t really fit in or belong with members of the groups. It is not an issue of “being trans enough” (though that is a very real discrimination some trans* identified individuals face). Instead, it is an issue of whether i belong in attendance.

i had a group i attended regularly for a year and a half. There are good people in that group, but i don’t belong in their space. They are college-aged kids that are radical and experimenting and that’s not me. i felt increasing outside the acceptable attitudes of the group because i am not subversive enough. These young trans* and gender queer people call into question the ideas of a binary, cis-normative, non-kink culture through their actions, dress, and public discussion/displays of kink/sex. They are young radicals who stand against the myopic perceptions of society in a vocal, visible manner. This is good. We need groups like that. my presence in such a group, however, is inappropriate. As a woman fifteen years older than the members of the group, i am not subversive enough to be part of their community. i want to blend in, i want to go unnoticed, i want people to not question me and to not harass me. i fall into a pretty standard female role and i am okay with that; it’s who i am, but it means i don’t fit.

i attended another group on occasion. This group was the opposite of the first in both age and attitudes. It is a group of trans women in the metro area that are just trying to be themselves. i was one of the youngest members of the group, with the majority of the women being in their fifties (an age difference as great as the first group, only reversed). Most of the women in this group tend to be either post-op and stealth or pre-op and part-time. The path they walk is one of hiding and making sure that people do not under any circumstances learn who they are, ever. It is a hard road to walk, living dual lives, and keeping secrets. Ultimately, the women in this group believe every trans woman must receive surgery (not only sex affirmation surgery but also facial feminization, trachea shaves, and other “enhancements”) or she will never truly be female. i don’t fit in with these women. i do not believe every trans woman must receive surgery or she is not a woman and there were women in the group who were offended that i would not reveal if i had undergone affirmation surgery or (if i had not) if i planned on having it or any other “corrective” procedures. Though i live most of my life stealth, i reveal my history to intimate acquaintances who either should be given or would benefit from this knowledge. i walk an unusual middle ground that the others were not comfortable with; i am, ironically, too subversive for this group.

There does not seem to be a space for people like me in the community. i have not meet others who are like me and, in the end, who i am leads others to feel disappointment, discomfort, or disgust. For a community that stands outside the definitions of society, we create some very narrow definitions for our members to conform to. Not all of us can do that. Where does that leave us?



Whose Pride Parade is It? (a Caitlin on post)

10 June, 2012

Yesterday was the Pride parade in Washington, DC, which was a unique experience. Having never attended such a mass gathering of the gender and sexuality minorities community, I was overwhelmed by the immense crowds and the vast spectrum of style and presentation. But, as potentially affirming as the experience was, it was more disheartening. I was particularly troubled by three things: the lack of trans* representation, the rampant commercialisation of the parade, and the heteronormative appropriation of a GSM event.

As a trans woman attending with another trans woman and a trans man, I was looking forward to seeing others from my subsection of the community stepping-out onto streets that are more often hostile than friendly. I was anxious to see myself represented in the community and to feel a part of something larger, yet there was a distressing lack of trans* representation at the event. Though we missed the beginning of the parade due to metro rail-work also slated for this Saturday and Sunday, the section of parade I saw did not have any trans* specific floats nor was there trans* representation in other floats. There were gay, lesbian, queer, and drag specific floats. There we’re rainbow flags, gay pride flags, marriage equality shirts and banners. But, what I saw of the parade did not include political messages promoting trans* rights, demanding fair use of bathrooms, or acceptance into public spaces. I did not see anything memorialising the trans women of colour beaten and murdered by intolerant people. It felt very much like we were simply overlooked by the community.

Complicating this feeling was the rampant commercialism the parade was mired in. The number of banks, products, churches, and service providers with little to no connection to the community overwhelmed the floats that had strong ties to the community, such as The Blade and the homosexual contingent of the AARP. Conversations I overheard after the parade had more to do with the companies represented and how sexy the multiple floats of gay, cis, white men dancing in their underwear were then recognition of the gay owned businesses, such as The Blade, which has had to make cut backs on its staff and coverage due to the harsh economy.

But, perhaps, all of this is to be accepted and overlooked with a nod and polite thank you for thinking of us and allowing us to have our parade in your fine city. Except, I left with the realisation that it wasn’t really our parade. Much like how everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, it was looking to me that everyone was homosexual during the pride festival. A conversation held by two women on the metro ride home validated this impression. Their conversation started off innocuously, with the one observing the other’s rainbow flag and pointing out that she, also, had gone to the parade. Ah, yes, I thought, members of my community out and open. This was not the case. Here is a snippet of their conversation.

Woman 1: That’s a great flag.
Woman 2: Yeah, I marched in the parade.
Woman 1: I was there. It was so much fun! I’m NOT gay, but I totally respect you people.
Woman 2: I’m NOT gay either! ::laughing:: The bank I work for was in the parade so we all had to march. I had to tell my parents that work required it otherwise they wouldn’t have approved of my going.
Woman 1: Oh, I know, it’s SO hard to be a supporter for gay people, but I love my gay boys!
Woman 2: I know, right. My gay, I call him my gay boyfriend, is so fabulous how could I not support him.
Woman 1: I have a BOYFRIEND, but I ALWAYS tell him when a gay boy thinks he’s hot.
Woman 2: Me, too! I ALWAYS tell him because that’s the highest compliment you can get, to have a gay boy think your boyfriend is hot.
Woman 1: Not that I don’t support the gay girls, too.
Woman 2: Oh, definitely! But the gay boys are cooler.

Their conversation continued for fifteen minutes, at inappropriate decibel levels, as the two proud supporters shouted across the aisle at each other. It eases my worries of harassment, discrimination, and physical assault knowing I have such staunch and committed activists being fabulous and marching on my behalf in my parade.

Although I enjoyed the company I was with, I cannot say I got much out of the parade. With the lack of representation, commercialisation, and appropriation holding centre stage in the venue, I would have been happier at a coffee shop chatting with my friends and getting back to the grassroots movement to gain a little recognition and respect.