I'm not sensitive, some people are not sensitive enough.

[Trigger warning for transphobia]

I've noticed lately that I'm increasingly sensitive about, well, everything. Perhaps the prudent thing would be to blame my moodiness on ZOMGLADYHORMONES. (Besides, who doesn't like an excuse to buy chocolate?)

Here's a thing: in the over five years I've been out as a queer lady, experience has taught me not to trust other people. I'm pretty quick to perceive other people's actions as slights simply because of the incredibly massive number of times over the past five years I've been :ahem: slighted. As a friend of mine (who also happens to be trans) once explained to me: 'It's not paranoia if people really are out to get you.' Perhaps that's an extreme way of putting it, but it also gets to the heart of the matter.

There are those of us in this world (feminists/womanists, and/or people of color, and/or queer and/or trans people for starters) who often encounter the charge that we're being too sensitive.

In my case, I am pretty sensitive. Here's a couple of the latest reasons why:

Exhibit the Ath: Campus Pride's 2010 College Climate Survey

According to the Q Research Institute (which is owned(?!?) by Campus Pride):
The [survey] documents experiences of nearly 6000 students, faculty, staff and administrators who identify as LGBTQQ at colleges and universities across the United States. Recommendations and findings from the national study provide the means for student activists, campus program planners and policy makers to implement strategic initiatives to address the needs and concerns of their LGBTQQ students and employees.

The results are predictable, but what really concerns me is this:

Thirty-eight percent of 2010 State Of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People respondents indicated their gender identity as man, 48 percent as woman, 3 percent as transmasculine, 2 percent as transfeminine, and 8 percent as “other.”

Interesting. I hope this isn't going...

Thirty-nine percent of transmasculine respondents, 38 percent of transfeminine respondents, and 31 percent of gender non-conforming (GNC) respondents reported experiencing harassment compared with 20 percent of men and 19 percent of women.

A significant number of transmasculine respondents (87%) and transfeminine respondents (82%) indicated their gender expression was the basis for harassment compared to 20 percent of men and 24 percent of women.

here. Wow.

I understand that many cissexual people sometimes have a hard problem dealing with trans and gender non-conforming people's identities, but that doesn't mean that it's okay to disrespect them, particularly when you're representing yourself as our ally.

I was e-mailing with Liss and Caitie, and none of us could figure out Campus Pride's delineation of gender.

First, transmasculine and transfeminine aren't AFAIK typically identities. I've certainly had plenty of discussions about transfemininity, but I don't know a lot of trans women who use "transfeminine" as primary way to describe their gender identity. Likewise, I've always seen "transmasculine" used to describe personal attributes that dominant culture codes as masculine and gender-transgressive. Moreover, these terms certainly aren't mutually exclusive with gender non-conformance. If anything, they're synonymous with it.

Second, and this one's big.... it's possible to be trans (and/or gender non-conforming) and still be a man or a woman. How many times do trans people have to go over this one with our cissexual allies?

Normally I wouldn't get all “sensitive” over a wee misrepresentation of my uh, identity, but like I said, I've been over this one before. Worse yet, this isn't the first time I've had such an issue with a campus-based "LGBT" group. I'm not saying that there aren't amazing folks working on many college campuses-- I've interacted with some of them. However, if anyone out there is wondering why I'm really, really slow to warm to “LGBT” organizations that purport to represent me, this is a reason why.

Exhibit the Bth: The Rochester Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival (ImageOut)

I get that the letter T doesn't show up in the title of the festival (nor do B or Q), but not only are some trans people lesbian or gay, we're kinda in the mission statement:

ImageOut presents LGBT arts and cultural experiences showcasing films, other creative works and artists to promote awareness, foster dialogue and build community.

I'm not sure how [TW]inviting Israel Luna to speak counts as “building community.” I suppose it's more of a fostering “dialogue” think. :cough:

For. Fucks. Sake.

A friend was telling me about this yesterday, and I couldn't could believe it. But you know, we've been here before. It's not as if folks at ImageOut can feign surprise that trans people might be, uh, [TW]upset about Luna's inclusion in the festival lineup.

On the contrary:
TOTWK was causing controversy even before its final cut was complete. Some trans and queer activists loudly question the relevance and objectivity of such an egregious portrayal of transgender women and the associated violence. But scandal has only given this outrageous screen romp a higher platform from which to kick ass. Is it really entertaining or just disgusting? Well, don't take our (or anyone else's) word for it. Join ImageOut for this late-night screening, see for yourself, and form your own opinion.

HELLO. I HAVE FORMED MY OWN OPINION. But forget about me, I'm just loud. And feeling even more indignant than usual ATM. [ETA: For the record, it is people who run film festivals who have given TOTWK a bigger platform, not "scandal."]

I live in Syracuse, and Rochester's the nearest bigger city, about 90 miles to the east. I've got plenty of friends around town who are LGB and/or T and/or Q, but I don't sense much of a LGBT community here. Certainly, I don't feel like part of much of what passes for the LGBTQ community in Syracuse.

My natural impulse is to seek out a place for myself in places where there's greater cultural diversity. Realistically, Rochester is that place (although in practice, I tend to forget about it/not have gas money). But, much as the case in other cities I've lived in, a part of the LGBTQ community in Rochester is doing its part to make me feel unwelcome.

What's worse is that I'm actively involved in building a stronger, more vibrant, inclusive LGBTQ community here in Syracuse. Well, that's not problematic. Rochester and Syracuse aren't worlds apart. I'm desperately trying to trust folks in “the community” here. Lots of folks have earned my trust. However, slaps in the face like the one from ImageOut really do make it hard for me to trust new acquaintances, even those who may be trustworthy.

I'm not sensitive, some people are not sensitive enough.

[ETA: Lest anyone think I'm being a bit too easy on ImageOut, I now see that they're "so excited" to bring viewers TOWTK, presumably because it's "challenging" and that "everyone has been talking about [it] all year." As if "everyone" hasn't been talking about the horrible economy all year, too.]

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