by Shadow Morton
There has been a lot of theorizing lately on why the bi and trans communities have come together so easily (apparently) to form a coalition of sorts in the political realm. Personally, I get rather tired of all of the heady wordiness; I'm more of a nuts-and-bolts kind of person myself. So, I'm going to call it like I see it:
Have you ever been in a crowd of people who know they are better than you -- the kind of situation where you're not sure if you farted or something is hanging out of your fly, but everyone is walking at least five feet around you and won't make eye contact? Whenever I'm in that situation, I look for a corner to tuck off into. Once I find another person who is also feeling a little overwhelmed and intimidated -- and there is always at least one -- I make eye contact and begin to make my way through the crowd to join them. I have yet to not have anything in common with such a person, and so it is for the bi communities and the trans communities.
Let's face it, folks -- we scare people. We make them nervous. The fact that some of us are actually well-adjusted and happy makes some folks break out in a rash. When we show up at the negotiating table or the think-tank sessions or the political rallies, many people get queasy. We mess with the mainstream concept of gender -- how many genders you can actually be or present; and how many genders with whom you can actually have a relationship(s). ("Oh, my God -- multiple possibilities! Freak out!") It is my fervent hope that at some point in time we will have the fortitude to grab hold of most of the societal and social concepts of sex, gender, relationships... oh, hell, all of it. And throw it out the window.
I'm tired of ASAPs (As Straight As Possible) in the queer community telling all of us to whom we must be attracted, how many partners we can or cannot have, what a real man or woman is, and how we must identify. Sound familiar? It's the same puke mainstream society has been shoving down our throats for eons, and now we have a new echelon of pompous, self-righteous buffoons within our own community pontificating the same drivel. This might be proof that the fabulous strain of creativity I have always loved my communities for is dying: The Little Oppressor walks among us blatantly.
Gender and gender expression are the next masks to drop for human evolution. We have an opportunity to discover some amazing things that are exposed when we study how gender affects each of us. And I don't mean just queer folk; I mean the whole human race. You want to study gender expression? Study John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, Barbie and Ken. How many of us fit into those molds? Not a whole hell of a lot. They are the epitome of the binary system society has dictated to us, and what they sell us is gender expression and gender.
Our society also dictates (and we follow) how to have relationships. Having been ousted from that "loving", All-American nuclear family we were raised in, many of us have formed amazing extended families, only to shave whole segments of those families out of the definition by fighting for the right to marry, or to have a domestic partner. In our struggle to be "normal", we are killing the very tribal system that saved our lives when we were lost, hungry, and alone. Many of us have or have had two or more partners, and yet those of us who live so -- bi, trans, or gay -- are cast off like diseased pariahs. What will the rest of America think of us if we present a polyamorous face? You know what -- who cares!
I just can't figure out why we would cast off the more creative parts of ourselves to fit in and mold ourselves to an ideal and image that we have detested. I know it has been a long struggle and some of us are tired, but do we really want to be like those who have persecuted us for centuries?
Obviously the ASAPs find this acceptable, and I wish them as much happiness as they can find. But spare us the preaching and manipulation. Those of us who know and relish our differences wish to hold on to those parts of us that have been so creatively expansive in our lives. We enrich the communities we walk in, too. We are a part of you, whether you like it or not. The more you condemn us, the more you make us feel uncomfortable for breathing the same air as you, the more enthusiastically we will seek out people who are just as uncomfortable. We will unite. And we will continue to make you uncomfortable. However, we will not impose our way on you. We just simply will not go away.
So, I found myself standing in a crowd of other queer people. And many of them were talking over my head, and nervously stepping around me. Then I found other trannies and a whole lot of bi folk who were feeling just as uncomfortable as I was. So we have this loosely formed, tight-knit network called the bi and trans coalition.
And we won't go away.
Since beginning metamorphosis seven years ago, Shadow Morton has advocated for TG rights on local, state and national levels. He has advocated for human rights since the fifth grade.
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