Such a politically incorrect title for this post, but let's not let that detract from the article...
I'm often called an "Angry Tranny." I count among my friends some of the most vocal and verbally aggressive trans folks online. I don't hold back for the most part when I write, and I am not afraid to say things that are both unpopular and often unpleasant.
I do not take the high road, and I can and do wallow in the gutter of verbal disparagement of others.
My article yesterday here has sounded alarm bells among at least two Phoenix based activism organizations. I had the temerity to speak up and take them to task for not attending Creating Change. These two particular groups -- whom I won't name -- are not bad organizations, and the people who are part of them are not bad people. They have passion and desire and they seek social change and they want the credit for achieving it so bad that they will do damned near anything to get it.
And the title reflects what happens when you challenge them. It is, in the end, a microcosm of what it means to be an "angry tranny."
So let's look at what is involved in that, shall we?
First off, call me an angry tranny to my face without having laid the framework of getting to know me and allowing me to know you might just get you kneecapped. I may be wearing a dress most of the time, but kneecapping is a fine art and a skill that one never loses nor needs much in the way of an appropriate uniform to perform.
I am a transsexual, a woman who is, justifiably, angry over the history of the movement's treatment of trans folk. Like many of my contemporaries, I am very well aware of it, and I have suffered discrimination at the hands of LGB groups personally.
I am very much aware of the history of LGBT folks -- going back well over 170 years -- and I can see how the T has been erased from popular works, or, worse, literally taken over and turned into something not trans, but not cis either.
Online, there is an ever-shrinking minority of that sort of thinking. In a great part thanks to the efforts of literally hundreds of "angry trannies" before me and my contemporaries. We don't sit quietly, we don't use the tactics of gentle persuasion, and we certainly aren't followers of the non-aggression ideal.
We are loud, and obnoxious and, yes, very, very angry. We personalize attacks on our kith and kin as if they were attacks on ourselves, and we embrace all our passions and all our energy in our work.
And along the way we step on a lot of toes. Steel-toed boots aren't always effective against us, either -- we have a sharpness and a willingness to go into the places that are uncomfortable and painful and ugly that most people will never go. And we are able to go there because we have been there, almost uniformly.
What's worse is that we don't always agree, We aren't an organized lot, and we fight harshly among ourselves, but what unites us is that we do not back down from the erasure, the defamation, the overlooking, the privileged treatment, the ignorance, and the intentional and unintentional exclusion of trans people from the movement and from the work that all of us do.
When I joined Bilerico, some said that I sold out. That I was no longer part of that group of loud-mouthed annoyances that make sure that trans discussion is not about tone arguments and interpersonal politics.
Well, let me put it this way: in joining Bilerico, I was co-opted. They gave me a place to speak to trans issues. They know that things change when you have a responsibility to a wider readership, and that for me, it would most likely mean I wouldn't be as rough and tumble in the comments section as I have been known to be.
And to some extent, they are correct. I do have to be a little nicer. After all, they are family now. We've met and drank and talked and laughed and said terribly inappropriate things together.
Those who know me, though -- and they do now -- also know that my tongue is not reserved. That I will go after friends as quickly and as easily as enemies, and with the same vehemence. That my quest is not merely to correct when someone is wrong on the internet (which I admit to freely) but also to make sure that we are all heard, and that we all get that often elusive sense of equality and equity and liberty that is the birthright of all human beings.
(Hmm -- birthrights. There's an article that should scratch a bit.)
And the rare few who have seen me in truest form know that I am gentle with my allies, even when enraged, as what I give here is nothing compared to what I give those who would condemn or demean or defame or deny us what we seek.
My African descent kith -- and make no mistake, I am quite Black and quite Native and quite European-American and equally proud and fierce and claimant about all of them -- will know what I mean when I say that while I adopt a position closer to Malcolm than Martin -- that Mr. Little is more my speed than Mr. King -- I do so because there must be a voice like his.
And it must be heard, for there is no right way to do something, and sometimes an angry tranny needs to step on a few toes to remind people of that.