excerpt from a book in progress, pt. 2
March 30, 2013
(okay. so I’m reallly not sure how I got to this place with talking about the closet. but here I am. this isn’t what i meant to discuss, but here it is anyways. i can’t tell if it is genius or incoherent beyond belief)
This is important because the topology of the closet rests on this foundation. What is ‘in’ the closet is private, personal and what is ‘out’ of the closet is public. The process of coming out, then is a process by which you render what is personal, public.
And this is an interest place for any IaoPoC person. Because we all know, growing up and around, that our ‘closets’ are much much much smaller than any white person’s (and it only shrinks with the more intersections of oppression you experience). Because being a non-white body in this world, is to immediately be rendered available for public consumption. where white people will feel comfortable discussing or commenting on your body. touching it (for a very notable example, see Black women and their hair). sexualising it. desexualizing it. or any other activity which clearly lets us know that we are not entitled to the same level of body integrity and ‘privacy’ that white people are.
This level of publicness comes with a great deal of problems. particularly for dark skinned Black people and/or Latin@s (these sorts of things definitely exist on a sliding scale of dark/light skin, where the darker you are the more public your body).
And it is in this context that all trans IaoPoC are given the expectation that we be ‘out’. [1. and, of course, i’m not even touching upon the incoherence of what the fuck it even means to be ‘out’ as a gender. a trans woman is a woman at all stages of her life]
to a certain extent, we can see the problems with this construction, since it really comes down to an expectation that we render our bodies even more available to the public for consumption.