A Day In The Life Of An Angry Transsexual

Microaggressions: A prologue

I learned a word the other day: “Microaggression.”  It changed my life a little bit.

“Microaggression,” according to one definition, “is a non-physical form of aggression involving demeaning implications and other subtle insults.” But that doesn’t really cover it. Originally applied to racial oppression, the concept of microaggression describes all those little ignorant comments and bigoted assumptions that oppressed people have to deal with throughout each day.

A microaggression might be a straight person asking a gay man why he hasn’t at least tried to be heterosexual. A microaggression might be an Asian kid getting mocked with “ching-chong” noises (or, for that matter, a Chinese President.) A microaggression might be a woman who is expressing anger being asked if she is on her period, or an autistic person having to hear the word “retarded” used casually. Many more examples of microaggressions can be found here.

Taken separately, each microaggression may seem like ‘no big deal,’ and other people often tell us not to make such a fuss over them. But taken together, microaggressions can really wear you down. Because they come from every quarter, they are difficult to fight off. Responding to a single person’s ignorance does little to combat potential microaggressions which may come from every other person on the planet.

Dealing with microaggression is a bit like standing in a hail storm. Though each individual pellet of ice may sting, no single one on its own can do real damage. But together, they can punch through car wind shields and strip the bark off trees.

Each microaggression impacts the self-worth of an oppressed person, makes them feel invisible, makes them feel uncared for, makes them feel hopeless that anything will ever change. Over time, it all adds up.

To help illustrate the way microaggressions work, I offer you this dramatized “day in the life” of a young urban trans guy—specifically, me. All of the incidents described herein have actually happened, though not all in the same day. I have compressed time somewhat in order to quickly give you a sense of the impact that microaggressions can have, when in reality these incidents may have occurred over many months. Think of it as being like a time-lapse video—it shows a process exactly as it occurs, except for its being very accelerated.

A Day In The Life Of An Angry Transsexual

I wake up, shower, dress, and have some coffee and a piece of toast by way of breakfast. Before heading out the door, I find time to check my email. I have a google alert set up for the term “transgender,” which is probably bad for my mental health, but hey, I write a column. I have to be informed. The top ten new news results for “transgender” include two stories about a celebrity cheating on his girlfriend with a “shemale,” a blurb about a Thai airline that has decided to hire “ladyboys,” and a screed from a Christian news site about how terrible it is that so many companies have decided to cover “sex change operations” for their employees. The rest of the results have nothing to do with trans people, really, but pertain to “LGBT” issues and have chosen to spell out the acronym, thus resulting in another story about mainstream cis gay politics landing in my inbox.

On a dating site, I see that some douche has sent me a message asking if I am “a would-be man who enjoys getting fucked in the ass like a true queer male.” I hit delete and block. Sorry now that I logged in, I shut down my computer and head out the door.

I am already in a bad mood. On the bus, I listen to music on headphones to try to shut out all other humans. I try not to think about the fact that I am completely surrounded by cis people. I try to comfort myself that some of the other passengers may in fact be trans and are just blending in, like me.

Then, as we draw near the Castro, it happens: a woman who is visibly transgender gets on the bus. I watch helplessly as other passengers stare boldly and snicker at her. This has happened on multiple other occasions and I never know what to do. If actual physical violence erupts, I have some vague idea that I will intervene. So far, thankfully, it never has.

When I finally arrive at work, I change clothes in a separate room, while the other guys all just get dressed by their lockers.

At lunch break, one of my coworkers talks about his roommates. “You live with two girls?” someone asks. “Sort of,” he replies. “One of them is like a transgender. It’s like her boyfriend or something.”

Somebody else starts laughing, “Oh that’s nasty. Oh that’s wrong. Does he wear a wig and everything?”

I am speechless, baffled by what is going on around me. Everyone here knows that I am trans. Do they think of me that way too? Or am I one of the ‘good ones?’ Do they just forget that I’m transgender? Or are trans men OK in their book, and only trans women repulsive? I mentally circle this last, most likely explanation in red. But that still doesn’t really explain why they think they can talk that way in front of me. Whatever the reason, I am ashamed to say, they keep right on thinking that, because I cannot find my voice to say anything.

After lunch, some heavy lifting needs to be done. My co-workers’ eyes slide right over me when looking for somebody to do the job. Even though I am bigger than many of the guys in the shop, a weird kind of biological sexism prevails when there are certain kinds of work to be done, as if my body, even after two years of testosterone, cannot possibly be equal to tasks that would be easy for a cis male. I guess they do remember I’m trans after all.

By the time four o’clock rolls around I am more than ready to get out of there. I head over to my favorite café hang-out and engage some friends of mine in conversation. One of them starts giggling about the “trannies” at a certain sex club. By the time I get done explaining why they should never, ever use that word, I fear that I have alienated a friend. I start to feel guilty. Then I wonder why my friends don’t worry more about alienating me by saying ignorant bullshit.

Time to head to my evening class, which is on “Transgender Identities And Communities,” and which I generally enjoy. In the course of the class, a gay cis boy expresses his astonishment that one of the interviewees in a film we watched was trans: “I mean, he was like, hot!” I grit my teeth and wonder if he genuinely thinks that a) there are no trans people in the room and b) that any who might be here will find his shock at our capacity to be attractive flattering.

Finally home again, I check my email one more time before going to sleep. There is a comment to approve on my blog.

“I really like some of what you say,” says the commenter, who identifies himself as a cis male. “But do you really have to be so angry?”

Epilogue

So there you have it, folks. This has been an exercise in explaining why so many of us trans people are, as you put it, ‘so angry.’ We spend our lives in an oppressive society. Even when we are not directly interacting with its institutions, like the medical establishment, the justice system, or the educational system, we cannot escape the negativity, contempt, and just plain ignorance of everyone around us. Day after day, it gets a little old.

And there is absolutely no getting away from it. Any time we walk out the door, open a book, turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, or speak to another human being, we risk encountering  microaggressions. I often get so fed up that I fantasize about moving into a log cabin in the mountains away from everybody else and never having to see another soul again. But I couldn’t do it. Just like anyone else, I need interaction with my fellow human beings.

To put what you have just read further into perspective, consider that this transgender “day in the life” is one of a white, middle class, able-bodied, neurotypical male living in America in a liberal urban area. I have privilege on just about every axis and am marginalized only for my transgender status, my queer sexuality, my youth, and my sporadic mental illnesses. A day in the life written by a trans woman of color living in Oakland, or by a genderqueer person in the Midwest, would look very different. I am very aware that I am among the most privileged of all the transgender people on the planet. The fact that even I suffer so much duress from the attitudes of a cissupremacist society should be very telling.

Since so many trans people have it so much worse than I do, I invite anyone who feels like sharing their experience to submit their own ‘day in the life’ to me, or just tell me in brief about your encounters with microaggression and transphobia, and I will then repost it on this blog. Write tranarchism@gmail.com to share. You may give your name and link or choose to be anonymous.

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About Asher

Asher Bauer is fast becoming a fixture in the San Francisco kink community, and intends to stay that way. He has worked as a Queer Educator at LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation And Information Center), and since has taken his talents as an educator to a wider variety of audiences, teaching on subjects ranging from safer sex to BDSM to trans and queer identities. He is also one of the hosts and originators of Transmission, the new trans-centric party at the San Francisco Citadel, and Invasion, the Citadel's all-genders queer party. View all posts by Asher

57 responses to “A Day In The Life Of An Angry Transsexual

  • Thorne

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Hugs.

  • Valarissa

    Thanks for that. I get so tired of discovering these little nuggets of ignorant stupidity and people telling me I need to not take them so personally. How can I not? How can I just sit idly by as people akin to me are derided, assaulted, looked down upon or otherwise treated sub-human? I’m finding more and more, the reason why I speak out is because if *I* don’t then no one else will. When that happens, when I’m that next victim, who would speak out for me?

    It’s a systemic issue that is ingrained into people’s heads so much so that some of the most vitriolic comments I have heard are excused as being “natural” or “biological”. After all, why should the rest of society have to bend over backwards to accommodate a few freaks? My answers always boil down to 1) we’re not freaks, 2) how would you be affected by broadening definitions of gender, 3) is it really so hard, painful or difficult to treat someone else with dignity and respect? Because I can tell you right now, being on the other side, and just letting it slide hurts so damn much.

    *throws their hands up in the air in frustration* Now I’ve gone and upset myself just thinking about this crap :P

    Thanks for bringing it to the forefront.

  • Lilith von Fraumench

    Once again, Asher, you nailed it like the 95 Theses.

    One of my “favorite” microaggressions: “Not everything is about trans politics, you know.” This kind of sentiment can only be stated by a cis person unaware of the privilege that allows trans politics to be just another concern, and not paramount.

    The irony is that the person who said it is pretty supportive of trans folk and sensitive in particular to trans-misogyny. But not living in the situation means she still has a blind spot to how much we suffer for need of having *someone* make trans politics a priority.

  • msmc

    I’m a cis, straight, white woman living in a leafy London suburb, so I have plenty of privilege. But the ‘microagression’ thing really resonated with me, feel I am constantly angry about occurrences that individually seem petty but together are a barrage of insults to my gender. Not to mention the offence I feel as a human at thoughtless racism/transphobia/homophobia… etc. If I fight back I am dismissed as an angry feminist (or, as you say, get asked if I am ‘on the blob’). Amazing how the things we care about get used as the stick to beat us. Ace blog.

  • Cruella

    Great piece John. I have been musing for some time about writing a similar piece about all the tiny acts of misogyny that litter my average day. The eye-rolling and muttering about multi-tasking or wanting babies, the lewd unfunny jokes about dicks or how revolting periods are, the casual references to rape. And knowing that taking offence at any one instance will be seen as being touchy and over-sensitive when what really pisses me off is that I can’t get five minutes off from the onslaught of this crap. Glad someone has found a term for it, will be referring to micro-aggression myself in future. Much love Kate

  • jennifer baker

    I really enjoyed this article cause I think you do a great job of relating what it is like to deal with the bullshit.
    I don’t understand how you could ever let the people you are dealing with outwardly bad mouth you and your Transsexual brothers and sisters. It is up to you to create a safe place for your transwoman bus rider and up to you to educate the people around you that there behavior and core thinking on the subject is inherently wrong. The more you let it go, the more they think they are right and that the line of thinking they have is a correct one.
    My point here is you may find yourself less angry later if you dealt with the situations when they occurred. Instead of quietly doing nothing and carrying the situation around with you to later blog about.
    Just my two cents
    A Transsexual woman. Jenny

    • Asher

      I try to deal with situations as they occur, and often I do. But when I am up against an entire busload of people it’s different. I have no way of knowing if the trans woman on the bus would appreciate my intervention. She might be further embarrassed by it, or even assume I am a creepy cis chaser guy trying to pick up on her. And as far as my workplace goes, yeah, I should have said something, but there I am up against the entirety of construction culture, which is extra misogynist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic. Sometimes it seems overwhelming to even try and say something. Also I know from sad experience that when adrenaline gets triggered, I don’t go into fight or flight mode– I freeze instead.

      Of course none of these things are really excuses.

      • voz

        Great post, as always, but I must point out this gem.

        “construction culture, which is extra misogynist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic. ”

        what. the. actual. fuck?

        While your slice of jobsite mentality may be that way, it isn’t necessarily a good rep of the whole story. I’ll get to that in a minute.

        First, a lil bit about me. I have been that woman on the bus more times than I care to think about, so I have a tiny bit of experience in these things. On that, you did the right thing. Not escalating a situation with a trans woman is always a good thing, and a situation like that can turn into a furball in a heartbeat.

        Sometimes all you can do is witness, and you did a beautiful job. Props.

        That said, I have worked a lot of times on jobsites *as an openly transgender woman of color* and I do not appreciate your wholesale bashing of the very same people who had my back when nobody else would as a transgender woman in the trades.

        You do good things here, and I enjoy reading them, but I seriously think you’re missing the point slamming tradespeople like you are here. I also don’t think you are really grasping the situation on your jobsite.

        A lot of what I have to say isn’t for public consumption, but you have my email. Feel free to drop me a line of you’d like a lil perspective on both the issues you raised in this comment.

        Keep up the good work, but hands off mi familia, ¿claro?

      • Asher

        Sorry for my words about construction culture. They were out of line. I was simply speaking from my own experience and what I perceive as ingrained attitudes.

      • Lilith von Fraumench

        You’re right, they’re excuses–but given the dangers trans people go through, I’m afraid they are still valid excuses.

        Pushing past that and risking one’s own well-being in order to help protect another person’s well-being is a challenge that’s not just for trans folk, but all people. That said, those who can are heroes and should be lauded as such.

        Nonetheless, I can’t badmouth someone for being fearful of the risk they’d be taking in order to help protect another. I can only encourage people to rise above the fear.

  • Cruella

    Oh sorry by the way I came here from twitter and it was from John’s tweet – hence why my comment is addressed to John, though I realise the author is Asher… Doh!

  • maddox

    “Dealing with microaggression is a bit like standing in a hail storm. Though each individual pellet of ice may sting, no single one on its own can do real damage. But together, they can punch through car wind shields and strip the bark off trees.”

    I think this is key. It’s much easier to brush it off and forget about, otherwise we’d spend most of our day doing trans sensitivity training…. Until one drop tips the glass, and they all come tumbling down.

    My question to you is, what comes next? What, if anything, can we do about this?

  • PrettyPinkPonies

    Darling, I am also an angry transsexual, and I just want you to know: I’m right there with you. And Lilith, the “Not everything is about [insert not-xtian cismale] politics” is the bane of my existence. It’s my Achilles Heel.

  • jennifer baker

    Do any of your coworkers let it go when someone says something that might offend them? Not to point the finger at you, but more to open up the conversation of coping with microaggression.
    I can understand not wanting to be fired or cause a situation to be worse for someone not expecting or wanting that. I understand, but what I also understand is that if other oppressed people’s didn’t stand up for themselves that they would still be oppressed.
    What I have found to help me, cause I have been there and done both keep my mouth shut and also let it fly and I find the incidents to have less of an impact on me when I speak my mind, cause at least in hindsight if I didn’t actually change somebody’s mind and or even looked like and angry idiot at times, I said my peace. And I have gotten used to responding to the often repeating in some similar way ignorant remarks and or looks. So much so that I can just look down my nose at people and in a few sentences point out there ignorant behavior without it really pissing me off and in a way that makes them look rude for having there bigoted opinion. At least that’s my snarky bitch goal :) That has taken some time though :) And I still can be so utterly shocked by what people say around me when they don’t know I’m a transsexual that I’m at a loss for words sometimes.
    That’s life.
    Until we pass the new anti-discrimination bill in CA we have very little protections in the workplace and can still be denied access to or discriminated against in all public accommodations. Buss’s, hotels, restaurants, hospitals etc. We are currently tagged in under the fair housing bill or something like that and the new bill will make it easier to enforce on a legal level.
    To get involved in the 2nd annual Transgender lobby day in sacramento that is happening on may 1 and 2nd contact TLC. trans law center
    I hope to see you there :)
    Jenny

    • Asher

      Actually, no. None of my coworkers stand up for themselves. You have to understand, this is a very macho atmosphere. Racial and homophobic slurs are constant, and when somebody takes offense they are mocked as “over sensitive.”

    • Amanda Forest Vivian

      Gosh, now I’m just thinking about it more and more. First I thought I didn’t experience that much microaggression as a disabled person but I keep remembering how I basically can’t read anything without someone trying to make a clever reference to my disability, or a similar disability, to insult someone else. I don’t want to confront people because they’d say it was just a joke or something. But it just makes you feel super absent like you weren’t expected to be reading it in the first place.

  • Oscar

    Thank you. I have been thinking about microaggression a lot. Usually it has to do with people thinking I’m a child or just calling me by wrong gender indicators. And it effects a lot of things, including jobs I can do, because I don’t really want to deal with the public. And I compromise and make choices I don’t want, like binding, in an effort to minimize woman-coded appearances.

    I find I feel better about things when I set boundaries. Like when people ask if I have a penis, and I tell them it’s not appropriate. Or when I correct people when they incorrectly gender me. Even if I don’t see them again, and even if I’m less physically safe when I correct them, I feel better than I do when I just let it pass.

  • QueerCoup

    That effected me more than I thought it would. I’ve only been openly expressing femininity for a little over a year, and I hadn’t realized how much all of the microaggressions have added up. I found myself replaying the last year in my head. Thanks for writing it, maybe a trigger warning would be a good thing.

  • Freeman Presson

    Well, THAT was educational. Thank you.

  • Ally

    I liked this post, because until reading it, I guess I didn’t fully grasp how microaggressions affected me. Looking back, I think they do, a lot, because I’m marginalized for several reasons and one of them always seems to be popping up.

    I’m usually smart enough not to open my mouth these days (although I spent a lot of my early transition without this ability), but some part of me feels like defense mechanisms like that can’t be good for our long-term health.

    And then people wonder why marginalized groups have higher risks for anxiety and depression…

  • Jennifer

    @ Asher – Thank you.

    ::salutes your excellent writing::

    @ Amanda, re “just a joke”: I once read the phrase* – and it’s always stayed with me – “By their jokes ye shall know them”. I don’t always say it, but I think it.

    (* actually it was in a novel by Aline Templeton)

    @ Jenny (jennifer b), I like what you’re saying about the way that speaking up can be better for one’s mental health in the aftermath. Being able to think of what to say in the sticky moment (and not make the whole thing worse) is a skill I wish I had more of.

    Not so sure about “It is up to you to create a safe place for your transwoman bus rider”. Maybe I’m misreading what you mean there – but taken literally, that seems to me like a pretty big responsibility to load onto Asher just for being there. (or for being there and being trans (?))

    Making public space safe for everyone would be a profound alteration in the world, and it seems to me that Asher’s writing of this post is part of creating that safe(r) world. So it’s not like he’s brushing off the responsibility to co-create it. But being able to do it in an instant, in the moment, single-handed – that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

    Actually I bet there were other people on that same bus feeling awkward &/or compassionate &/or angry, and wishing they knew a way to make the situation less horrible for the woman (and for themselves).

    So if a person on the bus “in the moment” can make a difference (and, listening to voz, I get that that’s a tricky proposition), then I don’t think the finger in the sky should be pointing at Asher more than at any other “person of goodwill” on the bus.

    But then again that might not be what you meant, in which case sorry for sidetracking (& of course feel free to clarify).

    • Jenny

      @Jennifer “Not so sure about “It is up to you to create a safe place for your transwoman bus rider”. Maybe I’m misreading what you mean there – but taken literally, that seems to me like a pretty big responsibility to load onto Asher just for being there. (or for being there and being trans (?))”

      My origional remark was “It is up to you to create a safe place for your transwoman bus rider and up to you to educate the people around you that there behavior and core thinking on the subject is inherently wrong.”

      I think that statement sums up how I feel about doing trans activism. If we don’t do it, no one will.
      And my reality is that now that I pass most of the time, I know that as a pretty white woman it would be un-likely for someone not to speak up and say something if someone was giving me a hard time most anywhere.
      Jenny

      @asher I definitely understand a Macho atmosphere as I was a certified auto technician for years and all kinds of other things I don’t even want to talk about :)
      I did masonry and construcion, landscaping and most general labor positions like that :)

      “Actually, no. None of my coworkers stand up for themselves. You have to understand, this is a very macho atmosphere. Racial and homophobic slurs are constant, and when somebody takes offense they are mocked as “over sensitive.””

      My point was that they all stick to there bigoted guns so to speak. There struggling to create that atmosphere and be-little anyone who dares go against, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your core beliefs and if it is unsafe or un health for you to do that, then you may be un happy there for however long you stay.

      I personally as an out person don’t have a whole lot of respect for anyone in the lgbt that is not out at work or at home and that bitches about equal rights on top of it ,but that’s just me. (not saying anyone here fit’s that description, but just to give you a little info about me)
      Good luck with things :)

      • Jenny

        I don’t like being anonymous so here’s my FB page, cause I don’t think I want to start a blog site just to add a picture to my comment.

        https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000080252540

      • Lilith von Fraumench

        Jenny, I appreciate the sentiment quite a bit and am glad that your activism includes calling out such things as they happen.

        On the other hand, I do believe that the first priority for any trans person is to survive, and as long as there is a risk of harm or death in standing up like that, I cannot fault a trans person from *not* doing it.

        Admittedly, I have fantasies of being able to call out such things, and to be joined by a chorus of other voices–trans folk and allies–unafraid to make their numbers visible. The lack of such backup, even in online contexts, makes such things mere fantasies and not hopes–but things are slowly changing, and maybe in my lifetime I’ll get to see such a thing. And it would be glorious. I think I’d cry.

      • Asher

        There struggling to create that atmosphere and be-little anyone who dares go against, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your core beliefs and if it is unsafe or un health for you to do that, then you may be un happy there for however long you stay.

        Um, yes. I am unhappy.

        Look, you really don’t know my situation. I’m kind of over you telling me how I should handle it because frankly I have nowhere else to go right now. I’m struggling, I’m broke, I can’t afford my freaking hormones at the moment, I can barely afford necessities this month, and I sure as hell can’t afford to risk my job for the sake of principle or even for the sake of trying to protect my own happiness and mental health. Which hurts.

        So really, I would like to say this as nicely as possible, but– back off.

        And my reality is that now that I pass most of the time, I know that as a pretty white woman it would be un-likely for someone not to speak up and say something if someone was giving me a hard time most anywhere.

        Actually, back when I used to pass as a pretty white woman I suffered through years of aggressive street harassment in which nobody ever intervened.

      • Asher

        As far as the general principles surrounding calling things out as they happen, here is what I wrote about it awhile back:

        Look, trans people, I know a lot of you already know this. But we get so precious little validation for this truth in our daily lives that it’s easy to get to thinking– am I crazy? Am I overreacting? Am I “just playing victim?” I am here to tell you that no, you aren’t crazy, you’re not overreacting– in fact, if you are like me or most trans people I have observed you are underreacting about ninety nine percent of the time– and that the best way to stop feeling like a victim is to hit back when hit and answer verbal digs with a loud “FUCK YOU.”

        However, I also said:

        A small reality check– as good as this all sounds, I realize, of course, that there are situations in which retaliation is simply not safe, when it could lose you a job, a home, or even your life. Recognizing that we are all outgunned most of the time is another part of trans power, because trans power means never minimizing what is happening to us all, all the time. We have to find ways to network and organize and give each other support. It is hard when we have so few resources, but we do have one resource in abundance, and that is our rage. I think that anger could be our strength, our emergency reserve, our five-hour energy shot. But it will never help us if we keep turning it on ourselves instead of allowing our attackers to feel it.

      • GallingGalla

        I’m very late to this article and this particular comment, but I need to address this (if nothing else, then for the peanut gallery).

        (1) In addition to being trans (trans/genderqueer woman), I’m also autistic. This means that in a situation like you describe, I *freeze* and I *cannot* intervene in such a situation. I also know when there’s me and one other trans woman on a subway car with 30 hostile cis folk, that two against thirty won’t result in a better outcome than one against thirty. The assumption that each and every one of us is able to immediately spin on a dime and effectively intervene in such a situation, without causing a *worse* outcome (like, three or four trans folk arrested and abused by police vs. one trans person being harassed on the bus) is both unrealistic and ableist.

        (2) There’s more than one way to intervene. Asher is intervening by writing this post. He may not have been in a place to help that trans woman right then and there, but how many cis people are reading this post and the lightbulbs are turning on in their heads that maybe they really ought to stand up to transphobia when they witness it?

        (3) Expecting every trans person to intervene in the way that *you* want us to intervene veers very close to victim-blaming.

        (4) It is *not* our responsibility to “educate” cis people or create a safer environment for trans folk. Some of us do it anyway, for a variety of reasons, and that’s great, but this isn’t 1971 – it’s 2011, where there’s these things called the Internet and Google. Cis people have all kinds of resources to learn about trans folk and the issues we face. Furthermore, cis people created the systems that endanger trans folk and make our lives so much harder. It’s up to *cis* people to pull those systems down. It’s not fair to put the responsibility on the backs of trans folk, not when cis folk have the institutional power to either continue cissupremacist systems or pull them down.

  • strugglingaltruist

    thank you so much for publishing this blog

  • jenny

    Sorry I got you so ruffled. I’m just giving my opinion and I will stop now.

    Well just after this k :)

    If we cant reaspond in the moment for any reason we formulate for ourselves, then I believe it better to channel that energy into enacting change instead of letting it get you down. We can all stand up for ourselves if we look for a way. That was my point, but my delivery is pretty harsh sometimes…sorry, but that is Trans Power!

  • jenny

    Actually, back when I used to pass as a pretty white woman I suffered through years of aggressive street harassment in which nobody ever intervened

    Must of been your attitude.

    • Asher

      Really? Victim blaming? Really?!

      Fuck you. Way to show what your radicalism is really made of.

    • Asher

      You wanna blame a twelve year old for having an attitude that somehow invites harassment? A fourteen year old? A sixteen year old?

    • Anja Flower

      Jenny, I know Asher. Asher does not go around holding a sign above his head reading “PLS HARASS ME KTHX.” He does not do ANYTHING that I have ever seen to invite harassment, attitudinal or otherwise – and you know what? It’s not okay to imply that someone deserves to be harassed just because they have the wrong “attitude.”

      Seriously, you need to leave Asher alone.

  • jenny

    Wish I could delete that…. sorry, It’s late and I wont comment your blog anymore I swear.

  • Thorne

    I would hope that any of us would step in and defend children, attitude or not. I mean, this is a humanist issue, IMNSHO.

  • Michelle

    Is it Microagression when people openly know your trans and refuse to use the correct pronouns? I feel like it is.

  • S

    I’d just like to add that it’s not hypocritical to be in the closet and still want equal rights – that is, being treated like a fucking human being. Forcible outings, or cries for such, always make me uncomfortable, because not all of us feel safe coming out.

    • Asher

      Absolutely. And feeling safe coming out is a… *drumroll*… PRIVILEGE! And people calling for such things generally speak from a position of privilege.

  • Stef

    I absolutely love the term “microaggression.”

  • Mike

    People can be such shit-heads sometimes.
    As a non-trans person I really appreciate this post, it gives me a lot to ponder. And I hadn’t heard the term microaggression before… doesn’t take many micros to make a macro. I’m going to be on guard and listening for them now, and won’t let them go unchallenged.
    Thanks,
    Mike

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  • Chris

    I don’t really have much to say, but would like to send you *hugs* and thank you for this post.

  • Amelia

    Thank you for this thoughtful post! The term “microaggression” really resonates with me too, even though I am not trans-identified. I also really appreciate the vulnerability you’ve shared in this post because it’s not in our perfections, but in our humanness, that we impress upon the hearts of people.

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  • tylerdurdenlives

    I read this and I almost teared up. All this stuff is horrible and I know that things like this can build up. I’m not saying that I’ve been through anything like this but I know the way in which insults like “gay” are thrown around. In my school, I constantly hear people saying “that’s so gay” or “are you gay or something?” and it’s really disheartening.

    *hugs*

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  • Jen Robinson

    As I read this I was reminded of something that happened to me about 15 or 16 years ago. My then-uncle at the time was in the process of transitioning to female. She was living in Amsterdam and I hadn’t seen her for years so I had no idea how she looked. However I happened to be on a weekend camping trip with my MIL, her younger sister and my SIL (they weren’t my in-laws yet) when one of them made a comment I will never forget. Sitting in a restaurant waiting for our food, one said “She has really masculine hands.” I wasn’t really paying attention to the waitress that closely. She may have been trans but I didn’t know. The food came and we started eating when the younger sister said, “Oh, I forgot to ask for X” (can’t remember the item and it’s not important) My MIL said, “I can go ask for you,” and her sister said, “No, that’s okay, I’ll ask HIM when HE comes back.” For a moment I was flabbergasted but then I thought, what if my aunt wants to come to the wedding and she makes a comment about her? My husband’s family is on the fairly religious side, so I said the thing that I thought would be the most cutting without making a scene: “That’s NOT very Christian.” No other word was said. I try to keep in mind every time I’m with people who start to make comments about anyone who is “other” and make sure I’m very clear about how I feel. It makes things easier.

    -As an aside, my aunt is a film maker who did a documentary on transgendered people in Thailand, called “The Ladyboy Story” while she was transitioning. They call themselves kathooey. I always hate the term ‘ladyboy’.

  • Franki

    i stay inside a lot which is partially to do with the lack of safe spaces, safe friends, and finding the outside world quite draining. for this trans* person a day in the life is isolation. x

  • Transilhouette

    Thank you for writing this, Asher. I wrote something similar about my experiences as a trans woman, but your introductory explanation of microaggression sets the stage well for the story.

    http://transilhouette.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/a-typical-day/

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