Friday, March 31, 2017

Is Visibility Hurting Us?

On this day of Transgender Visibility does it end up hurting us? Or should we remain back in the shadows.
I remember back when we were trying to pass the non-discrimination bill for us we were debating should we try to pass the bill under the radar of the opposition or in the light of day? We chose the daylight. But has that created a backlash?
Whatever Happened to the Transgender Tipping Point?
After the optimism of 2014—the ‘Transgender Tipping Point’ as decreed by Time magazine—trans people are facing an onslaught of legislative prejudice.
The Daily Beat
By Samantha Allen
March 31, 2017

In 2014, Time magazine announced “The Transgender Tipping Point.”
Laverne Cox adorned the cover in a blue dress.

The author of the cover story, Katy Steinmetz, declared that “another civil rights movement is poised to challenge long-held cultural norms and beliefs,” chalking up the emergence of “new policies” to the “new transparency” that transgender people were exhibiting after “emerging from the margins to fight for an equal place in society.”

The narrative was clear: Transgender visibility was good. It could change the country. And although Steinmetz herself was careful to qualify that the “transgender revolution still has a long way to go,” Time’s headline made it seem like a critical threshold had been crossed. Progress is linear, it supposed, and there is no going back.

That narrative—I am sad to say on March 31, the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV)—is wrong.
Is it wrong?

Or is this what happens when the opposition is forced back into a corner?
If 2014 ever could have been described as a “Transgender Tipping Point,” we might say that we’re now in the “Transgender Dipping Point”—a moment when, despite increases in media representation, the sort of tangible progress that felt within our grasp a few years ago may now have been delayed well into the next decade or beyond.
Those who are old enough remember Anita Bryant and the “Save Our Children” campaign to force lesbians and gays back into the closet back in the late seventies, it all started because of a Florida   county ordinance that banned discrimination in areas of housing, employment, and public accommodation based on sexual orientation. Sound familiar?

The article goes on to say,
In 2016, in an essay for the Pacific Standard entitled “After the Transgender Tipping Point,” Melissa Gira Grant warned that the “flip side of visibility—especially when it appears to be sudden, and media-driven is vulnerability.”
If we want our rights, we are going to face pushback from not only the opposition but also from our so called allies when it doesn’t align with their goals. You cannot bring about change from the shadows, maybe is you have power and money you can do that but for us we have to be visible, you have to sit at tables, you have to go and shake your legislator’s hand, you have to attend rallies, and you have to write letters to the editors and sign your name to the letters.

But as I said this morning make sure you are safe.

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