November 5, 2012
Question: I was reading your post, the distinction between gender and sexuality, and I do understand your point. However, I’m trying to figure out in what ways making the distinction between gender and sex is imperialist?
It isn’t so much making the distinction itself, but rather normalizing the distinction to the point that anyone who says otherwise or expresses a different understanding of their sexuality/gender (like me, where my gender/sexuality is the same and inseparable), that they get shouted down for being ignorant.
Moreover, this notion that they are entirely distinct human experiences is not just something that came up, but was part of a larger strategy by white queers to purposefully exclude trans poc from the gay liberation movement. It is neither fact nor science.
But since that point, it has become such an essential part of the trans or queer myth, that you have people translating bakla as gay and a claiming of bakla under the trans umbrella.
The distinction is imperialist, generally, because white people have this terrible habit of considering their experiences as default and universal. It is imperialist, specifically, because of how it was created specifically to serve white supremacist (and colonial) goals.
It might not have been, if the distinct had arisen out of this context and was merely a means for white cis queers to exclude tpoc from their communities. This distinction then went on to influence a great deal of sociological and anthropological research in poc communities and genders. It structured and constricted the ways that our genders/sexualities were represented and commented on and consumed by white academics and activists.
It reduced complexity and erased our identities and selves and our roles in our communities.
This is imperialism.
(sorry, I realize that I’ve started reaching negative coherency at this point, by product of having written two long posts today. I hope this answers part of your question and maybe, after I think a bit more on it, I’ll write something longer and more coherent for posting).
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