A question asked and answered
September 3, 2012
Them: I may be speaking about violence against trans women and similar non-binary folk (a friend’s suggested wording rather than transfeminine or AMAB) at a march against gendered violence.
To my knowledge, no out trans women of colour were available to speak. I’m a white trans woman. I definitely want to cover violence against trans folk of colour in a non-appropriative way. I’ve read some of your criticisms of white trans dialogue and activism (and the creation of genderescent). Would you have some suggestions on how to cover the topic properly? Would a different term than trans (e.g. gender-diverse) be more inclusive?
Thanks for reading.
Me: I’ve been thinking about your questions re: how to be inclusive without being appropriative.
For the most part, using ‘trans’ is fine because I do know that many PoC use it for lack of a better word. Non-binary is fine too (much better than genderqueer which definitely seems more white centric). I know that the NTDS Survey uses gender non-conforming, which might also be useful for you.
More than anything, since you say that there are no TWoC to speak about gendered violence. Use the survey. Make sure when you are speaking about the violence that trans women or trans feminine people experience, it is clear that the people who are most often and most violently experiencing this violence in deadly ways are Black trans women and/or trans Latina women.*
The biggest appropriation I see from white trans people talking about gendered (or non-gendered trans phobic) violence is how they continuously use the experiences of other people to make points about how they are impacted or oppressed. But that survey also has data about white trans people. Use that data when talking about your own stuff.
Basically…. race needs to be mentioned as a factor in gendered violence but it should not be used as a rhetorical point. Not necessarily the easiest balance to strike and you might fuck up.
Um… you can ask more questions if you have them…
- I should have included Indigenous but I was thinking in context of the survey, I’m sorry.