In case you need a reminder, it’s 2015 and one of the most talked about women in media is a trans woman named Caitlyn Jenner. The trans revolution is at it’s peak.
There are some in the trans community who fear that this sweeping wave of trans visibility, although extremely progressive for the community at large, has left out some key aspects and details of the transgender experience.
Metro spoke with Tanya Walker, an older transwoman who is both a veteran of the military as well as a veteran of the LGBT rights movement, to learn about what the community is overlooking, and forgetting.
1.“‘Passing’ is a curse word in the trans community.”
“Passing is the big cause of the division in the trans community. That’s why they call it passing. They pass to a regular Cis society in the gender binary of Cis society of male and female. Some people don’t want to fit into the gender binary, some people want to be gender non-conformist, some people want to be androgynous. Gender is a whole spectrum of gender and identity. Passing is a curse word in the trans community, we should just be who we are and that’s it.
2. “Caitlyn Jenner never had to share a needle.”
“1 in 3 Hispanic Trans women is HIV positive, today. 1 in 2 black Trans women are HIV positive, so that’s how it’s affected it. Due to discrimination and harassment about being trans and being unemployed, forced into survival sex work, not having human and civil rights, basically. Lack of health care, people sharing a needle, people had to share a needle to get hormones back in the day. You had to share the needle because there was no needle exchange or anything, you couldn’t get a clean needle, so you had to share the needle and you could contract HIV and Hepatitis C at the same time. Caitlyn and neither will Laverne Cox have to share a needle on the street. Or Janet Mock or Carmen Carrera. All these glamour girls will never have to share a needle on the streets and have to jump in a car with a serial killer to get some money to eat.”
3. ”Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera actually led the Stonewall Riots.”
“If you want to get down and dirty about the Stonewall Riots, Marsha P Johnson and Silvia Rivera and a few others, you know they didn’t even call us trans women, whenever you see a documentary about stone wall, it’s like “Men, men did this.” They always erase the erasure of trans women in this society. Those were trans women and some of them were butch lesbians or gender non-conforming lesbians that helped kick off those riots and they were black people and people of color who kicked off the stone wall riots. So, it was the white gay men who ran with it because they were always messing with black people and people of color, not white people, the cops- they were attacking the blacks first because they’ve always attacked us since they colonized us in Africa and they’re still attacking us because we’re still colonized in this country.