à l'allure garçonnière

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#awareness

which trans women get talked about in the media - and how

disclaimer: i must admit, i try to avoid arguments that begin with “why are talking about THIS when THIS is happening?!” but it has been on my mind for far too long and i can’t shake this. no, i’m not the best person to write about this, but i can’t find anyone else who has expressed similar concerns about it so i’m going to put it out there.

important note: this is not intented to criticize trans women, or the choices of one trans women over another; it is a criticism of which stories about trans women get told, and why. it is a criticism of silence. it arguing for a space in newspapers, on televisions, on the radio, and online for productive discussions about how dismantle institutional forms of transphobia, racism, and intersecting systems of oppression.

jenna talackova’s story, in short:

the Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman, to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant.
"provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions."

cece mcdonald’s story, in short:

Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald is a young African American transgender woman who is charged with two counts of “second degree murder” after an incident that began when she was violently assaulted because of her gender and race. 

unfortunately, if you know anything about oppression you wouldn’t be surprised to know which story is front-page news, and which one isn’t being talked about at all. talking about what happened to cece means confronting instituional racism and transphobia.

when you google “cece mcdonald,” you get 3 680 results.

when you google “jenna talackova,” you get 6 290 000 results.

asking to be allowed to participate in a beauty pageant, and being granted permission even though you were forcibly assigned male at birth, is perceived as revolutionary, forward-thinking, wonderful. jenna gets invited to talk shows, she gets her photo and name published thousands of times. she fought for the right to live her life the way she chooses to.

but what about cece? asking people to question and challenge the legal system that puts an african-american trans woman behind bars, charges her with murder, for defending herself against racist & transphobic slurs and physical attacks? no. that’s asking too much. that’s too complicated. “we don’t know the whole story,” they say.

do we not want to hear or challenge the stories that are too “complicated?” people don’t see one simple solution in the case of cece macdonald. it’s not a happy subheadline with an accompanying glamour shot. it’s not a matter of one rich white guy changing a rule after being pestered by a few LGBT organizations and having the financial means of filing a law suit.

in this case, you can’t even use the argument of the big bad mainstream media turning a blind eye. look at gay media outlets, too, and you’ll find radio silence. the advocate, “the world’s leading source for LGBT news and entertainment,” has three full-length articles about jenna tacklova. and when you search for cece? nothing. most of where i’ve found this information has been through tumblr and twitter.

INFORM YOURSELF.

SIGN THE PETITION TO HAVE THE CHARGES AGAINST CECE DROPPED.

TELL CECE’S STORY, because not enough people know her name or her story.

recommended reading:

if we could move away from an online social awareness culture that says if you share the “right” links or click the “like” button, you’re an informed and engaged global citizen, that’d be great. be critical, read a book, get engaged. take the time to think things out. in this era of viral videos, slowing things down can be great too. take your time to wrap your head around a story. you can’t be an expert on everything, and you don’t have to have an opinion on everything.
this is how i found out the latest news about the susan g. komen for the cure foundation fuckery. hilarious. 
i still think there are better ways of raising awareness/funding research into breast cancer than supporting this organization, but at least they re-instated their planned parenthood funding!
edited to add: sea-change is right, YEAAAAAAAH that headline is not true. they “reversed” their decision but did not commit to restoring funding to planned parenthood.

this is how i found out the latest news about the susan g. komen for the cure foundation fuckery. hilarious. 

i still think there are better ways of raising awareness/funding research into breast cancer than supporting this organization, but at least they re-instated their planned parenthood funding!

edited to add: sea-change is right, YEAAAAAAAH that headline is not true. they “reversed” their decision but did not commit to restoring funding to planned parenthood.

lookuplookup:

So, with all the Susan G. Komen defunding Planned Parenthood garbage going on in current events, I thought I’d throw out the trailer for Pink Ribbons, Inc., a recent documentary focused on the commercialization of breast cancer philanthropy. It screened at TIFF last year & should be entering into theatrical release soon. You can also read Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy by Samantha King, which is likely to be more accessibly by virtue of library lending networks.

The consumer driven “activism” connected with raising funds for breast cancer research is a big old pet peeve of mine and my feelings about it have become increasingly hostile since some of the important people in my life have entered into their own struggles with breast cancer. I hate to get too into stuff like this on Tumblr because of my feelings about Tumblr as a platform for these kinds of discussions, but seriously, fuck the people co-opting the experiences of those who have been impacted by breast cancer and are using those peoples’ lives and struggles and, in some cases, deaths to sell pink garbage.

i second all of this. we had the director léa pool on our show last week and if you like radio interviews you should listen to it.

i’m also trying to find an article where a queer personwrites about all the reasons why specifically associating pink with breast cancer awareness sucks (is hetereonormative, stereotypical, etc.) and i like that even in the trailer they raise that the original pink ribbon wasn’t pink = girl, it was salmon coloured… can’t find it though.