i started this in April, but have been adding to it.
Always more to think about and add…
My Trans Manifesto: An Ongoing Self Exam Sans Stirrups
(Let’s just get this first one out of the way, shall we?)
1. i am not trans because i “hate” my cunt and have been “brainwashed by misogyny” and “seek power over women” and the best way to do so is via exerting power over “my own woman”, OK? i have fought the shame about how i came into this world and survived, and what my body looks like for decades, and i always will. While cunt =/= woman or any other bullshit gender essentialist nonsense, let it be known that i am in love with my cunt. My cunt is the sacred black hole into which all the things that try to assail my heart are turned, spun, chrysalis. My cunt has always been with me, and always will, whether in its current solid form or in brainwaves or memories. My cunt is like none other. My cunt is mine and mine alone. My cunt is powerful, beautiful, unstoppable, and neither rape, nor guilt, nor expectation, nor the state can take that away. i will maintain and celebrate this connection, without shame, without fear, without explanation. i will not waste hours justifying this connection to cis folks (whether they happen to possess a similar kind of cunt as mine or not, or whether they consider themselves my “ally” or not), nor to any other person be they trans, genderqueer, or of any other description. My cunt is mine – hands and theories off unless i give you a green light, cool? Cool.
i will include in my life only those people who respect this.
My cunt-love doesn’t take away or minimize you or your identity, your cunt or not-cunt, your cunt-love or cunt-hate or cunt-ambivalence. My cunt-love doesn’t have anything to do with you. My cunt-love is between me and my cunt, spun from the silk of my Mother’s cunt (which is hers and hers alone), and her Mother’s cunt (which was hers and hers alone), and so on.
But lets get down to it, ok? Because a whole lot of people have a whole lot to say about what folks should & shouldn’t allow to be done to/ with/ in the name of our various cunts which are supposedly the marker of who is a woman and who isn’t, and i’d like to clear this up.
1 a. i refuse to use my cunt as a tool of and/or justification for oppression. My cunt has too long been at the shit-end of that stick. My cunt is not a podium from behind which i will allow myself or others to spout hatred.
Specifically, in solidarity with trans women, should you wish that solidarity:
* i will not allow myself or others to use my cunt as a tool to oppress trans women.
* i will not allow the existence or not-existence of a trans woman’s cunt to determine whether and to what extent i show her respect, solidarity and compassion.
* i will not demand that trans women’s interpretations, experiences or physical embodiments of their cunts match my own. My solidarity will not be based on her ability or willingness to conform to mine.
* i will consistently challenge myself on my assumptions around what it means to me to have been born with a particular kind of cunt, and
* i will not allow those who would use their cunt against a trans woman to sway me in this exploration.
* i will call out those who use the existence or not-existence of a specific kind of cunt to defend their hatred, fear, exclusion, marginalization and oppression of trans women; and i will refuse to participate in any way in undertakings based in such oppression including but not limited to spaces formed around such notions, artists and community organizers or leaders or anyone who partakes in those spaces and assumptions, and so on.
* i refuse, despite the ongoing invitations (usually based in the fact of my particular kind of cunt), to enjoy “women-only” events; and will scrutinize “women-focused”, “women & trans” or “past, present & future women” events until such time it’s clear these events and spaces truly honour all women and do not demand that trans women erase parts of themselves to fit into the space, including, if they wish, to speak to / be open about their trans experience.
2. i am proud of who and what i am: i am Trans. i have been and am fucking raging. i am tired of bullshit that tries to degrade me, to insult me, to minimize and/or trivialize my pain, to erase and appropriate my history. i will to the best of my ability not allow myself to succumb to this violence, this soul-murder. And i won’t allow non-Trans people, any of them, to take that and turn it into some Queer Theory bullshit, or into some psychosis, or some thing i’m meant to be ashamed of and / or open up to every fucker who wants a piece. i will not participate in or add to trans women facing this barrage. To do so undermines everything i expect for myself and calls everything i say i’m about into question.
3. i am proud of my community and will support and protect and struggle alongside my Trans friends, lovers, comrades, acquaintances, strangers, in their own searches and struggles to be proud of their communities. i will challenge myself and others in my communities (and in particular trans men and others who move through the world with various degrees of male privilege) to challenge our brains, our hearts, the grasp of our fingers, to shut the fuck up, speak out, then shut the fuck up and speak up and shut the fuck up and so on so that i can be a solid member of my Trans communities and do less harm.
4. i have a right to be in this body, and to use the language i choose to define it. i will consistently challenge myself around the words i choose, i will base those choices to the best of my ability in an ever-expanding understanding of the world i live in, as i pick up new information, as i check myself and get checked by others, as i fuck up, as i grow and humble myself. i will continue to learn, to listen, to adapt, to honour and be open to challenge.
5. i will not allow myself to succumb to the sexist and transphobic bullshit i’m forced to swim in every day and will not turn it against other trans folks. i will call bullshit. every. fucking. time. And because there are times my spirit is broken, or my head is in a fog or my body pain is too much to bear, i will take care of that best i can, and then i’ll get back to calling bullshit.
6. Without judgements about how any other Trans person copes, i will continue to not poison my own Trans body with alcohol, whether attempting to numb the physical and emotional pain in my body, my family, my communities or the universe. i want my cunt to continue to experience life free from numbness. i came out of my Mother’s cunt in a bath of numbness, and stayed there for thirty years. i’m done. This isn’t easy, it’s not without setbacks, challenges, questions, context.
But silence & denial = death, and yeah, i’m fucking done with that too.