Recently a petition has been circulating on change.org calling for organizations like GLAAD, The Human Rights Campaign, The Advocate and Huffington Post Gay Voices to drop the T from the LGBT. The petition was supposedly started by a consortium of L, G and B folks who feel that the T is a destructive ideological distraction that negatively impacts women, gay men and of course children. Many of the organizations being petitioned have already come out in full support of trans inclusion. There is even a counter petition that has garnered more signatures that stands with trans people.
That is as it should be, because the T is the most essential part of the acronym. All of the hatred and fear gay men, bisexuals and lesbians face is gender-based hatred. They have stepped outside of what is expected of their assigned gender. They are a prime example of gender variance. Not as obvious as trans folk, sure, but that is what they are, gender-variant siblings. Trans folk have been at the forefront of the LGBT movement from the get go. We have a harder time passing as any kind of cis or hetero normative individual. We are also as likely, if not more so, to be mixed into the rest of the acronym. When your very body defies gender norms it is very difficult to define when exactly you are having hetero or homosexual relationships. Especially for the nonbinary trans people and intersex folks who refuse to submit to cis standards.
We are the smallest minority and among the most vulnerable. We face having our basic human dignity denied every day and our basic human rights ignored. We are seen as a “social experiment” or as child predators, rapists and generally perverted people. We are brutally murdered for existing and driven to suicide by a world that shuns us. Why? Because even though we were born this way the world refuses to understand. Now that certain cis folk are getting the rights that they deserve they feel the war is won. Just like at the beginning of the movement a selfish minority wants to suppress the more obviously gender variant in our number. Feminine gay men are still attacked from within their communities as are feminine lesbians. Why? Misogyny, plain and simple.
Masculinity is forever seen as a pillar of strength (phallic symbol deliberately chosen) in our society. Femininity is the quivering, irrational weakness to be fought against. That is the real crux of the matter. The very idea that there are only two genders and that they are in opposition. They are in fact part of a cohesive whole and the place where they touch is full of endless variety.
In conclusion, trans people are everywhere and everyone. We are men, women and children. We are lesbians. We are gay men. We are bisexuals. We are homeless sex workers. We are drag performers. We are academics. We are doctors. We are janitors. We are an intrinsic part of humanity that has been burned and murdered alongside our suffering siblings since the beginning of history. We are all siblings and we should all sit at the table together and partake of the feast, celebrating the joy of our diversity instead of badgering one another in the name of hegemony. Submitting to the fear and hatred that has oppressed gender variation in western society for so long is not an option any more and there is no stopping half way through the war for freedom.