Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My LGBT Rant (From SameSame)

Let's face it, we live on an amazing planet full of vibrant, different, unique and imperfect stuff within it. I'm proud to be one of the unique things moving around on this rock and honoured to be surrounded by many others in the same situation. Amongst us all there is a large community of uneducated people who quite frankly don't want to be educated any further than the minute locked in stone education they currently possess. This lack of education does not discriminate. It affects people of all sexual orientations, race, religions and genders.

It seems to me somewhere along our human development we have lost the meanings of sexuality and gender and they have become blurred. For example I am a transsexual woman. I was born male and was always attracted to women so when I changed gender I felt incredible pressure to be with a man within the trans community. I was treated like an outcast for liking women. I never was into sucking dick so why would I change just because my gender now aligned with how I truly felt. I felt so pressured I dated a man and it failed so I'm back with a woman and incredibly happy. Here's where the blurring of gender and sexuality comes in from not only straight people but also gay people. I get questioned constantly after my shows on why I like women if I'm a woman? Surprisingly this is coming from a lesbian woman who also likes women. This person should know why I like women as a woman who does herself. People often ask me if I changed my gender to be with the same sex? I cant fathom how someone would even conceive the thought that I would need to change my gender for the sole purpose of having sex with a woman that I was already sleeping with pre transition.

The reason is that many will just never get it and I have no problem with that. How could I expect them to get it as they are very comfortable in their gender. They could never understand what a gender conflict is as they are gay or straight and being gay or straight is a sexuality issue. Honestly I'd never wish somebody to have to confront being trans as it is a tough thing to deal with for the trans person, their families and society. In saying that I'm not taking away from any gay person how hard it is to come and and be strong being yourself by expressing your sexuality and I'm certainly not asking for sympathy.

I do sometimes feel very overlooked in our alphabet soup community and often believe the reason is that many gay people can never truly understand what being trans is like, whereas a trans person can understand what it is like to be same sex attracted. I perform at all the major festivals in Australia each year and see it on a ground level. The gay male events including drag queens always take centre stage, followed by lesbians and drag kings and then a handful of trans events barely get mentioned. At some of these events Ive seen installations of urinals and celebrations of moulded butt plugs and often thought this doesn't represent me but it obviously represents a group of people so it needs to exist. It certainly doesn't educate anybody on political struggles but not everything needs to represent those struggles. It sometimes upsets me that so much emphasis is placed on such an event and two blocks away an amazing performer is sharing their story and talent in front of a handful of people. This demonstrates to me loudly once again that people in our community are so focused with sex that education comes second.

I also refuse to be labelled as somebody who does not understand gay men or just hates men because I'm lesbian. When I began my transition I had no idea about the community so I made many gay male friends, went to clubs and even volunteered for people living with HIV and was even horrified by the lack of education on that subject even though men were contracting the disease at an alarming rate. I have many gay male friends and value them so very much and if I don't agree with the bitchiness and BS from some of them well I just don't associate with them.

Honestly I don't even have many trans friends. I can't put my finger on the reason for this. Sometimes it's because I'm so sick to death of the infighting between crossdressers and transsexuals and endless the crying about being mistaken for a drag queens and how they feel isolated by gay men. Again I see this crap and leave that group of people leaving them to slog it out on Internet forums behind the safety of their PC screens. Plus as I mentioned earlier I still have some resentment towards many trans people for making me feel like an outcast when I first came out and not including me.

These days I'm a lesbian woman. I date a woman, I perform in front of mostly female audiences and also do some drag king work. I have read over the years that many male to female trans people feel isolated by lesbians but I myself have never experienced this. I've performed for dyke's on bikes and in front of all kinds of same sex attracted women. I have witnessed some male to female trans women be isolated at clubs and there has been many cases of it happening in women's only spaces in the past. I also believe there is a large section of the trans community within the lesbian scene. I've spoken to many women who believe they are men but are afraid to come out in fear of isolation from some women. I guess this goes back to my original point. If you believe you are a same sex attracted person of course you are not going to understand a gender variant person amongst you.

Sadly we are not perfect and we will never be perfect. There are uneducated people everywhere who would rather stay stupid and take the piss within the noise of a club or behind the comfort of a PC screen. I've got a better chance of winning lotto than expecting a community such as our own to understand each other as we are all so unique. What I would love is to every now and again meet someone in our community who genuinely wants to give a shit about someone same same but different, and by that I mean ask a question or two that doesn't include an inappropriate question about my genitals before asking my name.

I'm not writing this to gain sympathy or to start a fight or to flame an individual. I'd love to just once feel like somebody genuinely gives a shit about how many trans people were murdered on for Transgender Remembrance Day Nov 20th each year as they stuff another same sex petition under my nose at fair day and maybe step outside their comfort zone just once to understand somebody who is already on your side.

I used to be a big part of SameSame writing articles, reviews, featured blogs, photos, interviews and even worked in the office for a short period. The last couple of years I have stopped sharing my thoughts in online forums like samesame, not because of the trolls and bitchiness but I feel I can do more by performing on stage in front of people who want to come along to see a show and have a great time, be entertained and slightly more educated. Even if I reach one person at each show and lose all my money putting it on because most of the community would rather look at a urinal installation it doesn't matter, I'm still doing more than crying about issues in an online forum. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to put on such performances and reach people from all walks of life as a singing, comedic social worker. It's what I live for!!!

Ultimately though just do what makes you happy and try to walk a mile in another persons shoes to give them the same respect.

Love and peace Jade xx