<-- home

trans narratives, hegemony, and the beginnings of things.

And we certainly need to take care in observing the templates we collectively build and respond to. Trans people should understand that we ourselves are every bit participants in and enforcers of our oppression, and aggressive editors of our own narratives. Lives are lived, not written, so when you notice a genre, it’s kind of not a bad idea to ask what it’s doing there.

via [“I Always Knew” Sincerely, Natalie Reed](http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/09/03/i-always-knew/).

The very first blog post I wrote on this site was a partial critique of the hegemonic trans narrative (this is not the only thing I’ve written about how this narrative is exclusionary).

And, this isn’t a knock against Natalie Reed’s post, but a reminder of how and why it is important to continue to question and criticize this hegemonic narrative.

She further writes:

But I don’t believe this process is entirely benign or entirely harmless, both due to some of the problematic aspects of trans communities and how we relate to one another when we’re together, and due to some of the problematic aspects of storytelling and narrative memory itself.

Which, of course, the process by which this particular narrative has become standard or almost obligatory is neither benign nor is it harmless. It also isn’t accidental.

Her post is good but almost entirely lacks awareness of how and why a particular narrative becomes hegemonic and the purpose this serves. Because what is at hand here is not just about the personal narratives we tell of our own journeys.

This is a narrative especially constructed and maintained by people who seek to uphold the exclusion of PoC (particularly trans/feminine women of colour) from trans communities. From having similar or equal access to communities and resources.

This narrative is the one by which I entirely failed to see myself as belonging to this community which seeks to claim me while never actually including me. It is this narrative which seeks to refer or cite my experiences while delegitimizing them and dehumanizing me.

And, of course, this isn’t benign nor is harmless. Most importantly, this is not distinct from the cultural and social context in which it occurs.