Jennifer Boylan has written an extremely powerful op ed in the New York Times today. In it, she has written, in her own inimitable style, an extremely clear outline of what the trans movement is, its major obstacles, and its path forward, with that patented sense of wry and poignant humor of hers. But more amazing than anything she said is that it appeared in the op ed pages of the New York Times, rather than, shall we say, the Health pages, as suggested by one of the commenters, who disapproved of hearing from us outside of the bedroom. Fame has its uses.
She uses the metaphor of a ventiloquist's convention about which she once wrote. The metaphor is quite apt, given that we are often accused of not being authentic, and in our movement, we are forced to rely on the voices of our larger and better organized gay handlers. She describes our desire for "cake", as gay wedding cakes are cut with rejoicing, our struggles with prejudice and discrimination, our dreams of liberation and the lack of unity that holds us back as we squabble foolishly over who the "real" trans community is.
I'm at a trans spiritual retreat this week, where we discussed last night the spirit of the trans community, where we came from, where we're going, and what we can offer the world in our traditional role, in some communities, as healers who straddle worlds, and what we need in terms of healing as a community. It was magical, and it stuck with me as
I awoke this morning and read Jenny's article. It's wonderful that our message is getting out to the wider world, more and more. I hope and pray that we get the message ourselves, and that we can stop being the ventriloquist's dummy.