Keri Renault

The Delusion of Transphobic Labeling

Filed By Keri Renault | December 13, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Transgender & Intersex

There may have been a place of respect for Ron Gold in the LBGTQ community once upon a time long ago, but that place is now far, far away. Mr. Gold's days as a gay leader are done, long gone after his Bilerico Project diatribe against the T-community. At least they are in my definition of a leader.

What self-respecting member of the collective community of gender transgressors would dismissively label another as "deluded"?

Ron Gold should have looked in the mirror.

Make no mistake about it. We are all gender transgressors in the LGBTQ community. It's our shared heritage in the fight for freedom of expression, of civil rights equality.

Every letter in the LGBTQ movement shares this common lineage, one that can't be dismissed in a rant or written off in a blog. Each of us transgresses the binary model of hetero-normative gender roles: That biological boys and men "normally" behave and express themselves as masculine; that their "normal" sexual relationships are with females. Or that biological women behave and express themselves "normally" as feminine, having "normal" sexual relationships with males.

This is the fundamental notion of heterosexual, cisgender privilege espoused by the far right patriarchal governing class of western social culture.

How ironic and unfortunate that gay icon Ron Gold became its poster child.

Life isn't cut and dried. The world isn't a tidy place with clean lines and clear cut, black and white boundaries. Planet Earth is complex and ever-evolving. Humanity is awe-inspiring in its diversity and forever subject to change. We are individual expressions of the infinite, the unknowable shades of gray. Humanity is a rainbow of a colorful universe of possibilities, each of which should be embraced as a gift to our collective growth as a race.

Gold's manifesto of patriarchal gay privilege was posted and unposted on Bilerico faster than a spinning lobby door during the holidays. It should warn others who would challenge the existence of any social group outside their cloistered class. This cautionary note extends to those who espouse one social ideology as more relevant and righteous than any other part of the transgressive, counter-culture whole.

It's time to dispatch labels.

Attempting to define others is exclusionary, dehumanizing and yes, delusional. It perpetuates the counterproductive notion of a superior "us vs. them" mentality. We may never understand our neighbors, but that doesn't mean we should deny their existence. Regardless of where we fall in the continuum of humanity if we seek acceptance we must also be accepting. It's the only way we can peacefully coexist in an increasingly connected, global village.

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As a Lesbian activist whose butch and other transgressing sister's rights are intimately tied to trans rights, I fully agree with your outstanding post.

It has been sad to find on a number of blogs the old mattachines stepping out to denounce the trans community and to demand that the ties be cut in the community. Though they may be willing to toss the rights of gender transgressing gay men overboard, most Lesbian activists are far too principled to make a similiar opportunistic and accomodationist move.

In short, sister, I am right at your side