Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Say I Ain’t True!

I came across this article in the Huffington Post, I think there is a lot of generalization but it has a ring of truth. Occasionally I do find bias in the gay and lesbian communities against trans*people but in general I find a lot more acceptance.
Gay vs. Trans Cultural Influence, and the Slow Evolution From Ignorance to Acceptance Within the LGBT Community
By Dana Beyer
Posted: 04/22/2013

Over the past few weeks there have been several music-related media stories making the rounds in the LGBT community: the homophobic rant by Michelle Shocked and the subsequent fallout, and the Indigo Girls' commitment to stand with the trans community at the iconic Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF). The way these two stories developed exemplifies the difference in power and influence between the two communities, gay and trans, which are united except when they're not.
Dana goes on to talk about there was a large outcry over Michelle Shocked rant but just barely a whimper over the bigotry that MWMF has for the trans*community. Which is very true, we always seem to get pushed aside for “Gay” issues and told don’t worry we’ll come back for you; however, it never happens.

Now come the part which I find resonant with me…
This reality is covered up by civility and the willingness of many of these women to work for the LGBT community to improve the lives of trans persons. But when it comes to real friendships, and, more importantly, to intimate relationships, trans women are invisible to these women. The term "cotton ceiling" has been coined for this divide. We are in an era of a gay Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. We can work together. We can go to school together. We can advocate together for us all, for marriage equality and civil rights. We can party together. But partner with one another, or live together? Still uncommon. Trans women are not visible as potential partners, just as interracial relationships were taboo and rare 60 years ago. And God help the cis lesbian who dares partner with a trans woman. Many of those I know who have done so are then ostracized by their lesbian friends.
The good news -- and there is good news -- is that the Millennial generation doesn't buy into any of this nonsense. They weren't raised on second-wave-feminist bigotry, so to them it's just dry history, and they go happily into their pansexual futures. And just as our children's generation has been powering the drive toward greater equality that benefits us all, I hope their social lives of greater mutual acceptance and respect will benefit their elders, as well.
I have worked with lesbians, gone to school with lesbians, invited to parties and dated a lesbian for a while last year who was about 10 -15 years younger than me. So I find Dana is right in that it is much harder to find acceptance in the lesbian community of those who are of my generation.

A number of years ago I went up to Ogunquit ME with some friends and we stayed at a B&B that was run by a lesbian couple and meet a young lesbian couple who invited us to a lesbian bar that night. My friend and I showed up at the bar where they were having a tea dance to meet up with the lesbian couple. When we stop to pay the cover at the door the women there said this was a women’s dance. After staring her down for a minute she agreed to let us in… but you can't dance. The bar was crowd with women mostly in their late 50s and early 60s, around the same age as I am. We sat down at a table and all the women around us got up and moved away to stand by the bar; we were island of empty tables in the crowded room. When our young friends came in and sat at our table it was like a signal that we were cool because those that moved away all came back to their tables.

I know that there is always hope of finding a partner; that you never know what’s around the corner. But the prospect of finding someone is very slim.

No comments:

Post a Comment