Blog Archive

Monday, April 25, 2011

GUEST BLOGGER! Chandra Fox talks: Labels

This post is part of my new guest blogging series! If you would like to be a guest blogger, email me at with the subject "guest" and pitch me an idea:-)

"Gay. Lesbian. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer. Genderqueer. The list goes on and on. Labels that people insist on putting on themselves and other people. It's a crying shame that these insignificant labels cost people their dignity, livelihood, and in far too many cases, lives, every day.

The love of my life is the most amazing human I've ever met. He is thoughtful, brilliant, hilarious, and tender. He also falls into the category of trans. I won't even elaborate exactly where, as I refuse to put him into a box. I love and respect that his gender identity is fluid as well as being one small detail about who he is. Having said that, being in a relationship with a trans-man brings with it automatic responses from society that I had not foreseen. I also am acutely aware of things that I don't know that I would ever have noticed.

There are so many things that come with being a queer woman, in love with a trans-man. Adjusted pronoun usage, being more aware of the way they are treated, and always, and I do mean always, being afraid that when they walk out the door they may not come home in one piece. Sounds dramatic, I know. For us, it's just life.
This fact came into a bright spotlight yesterday. A trans-woman was brutally assaulted in a McDonald's in Maryland. The actual attack is sadly not even the most noteworthy detail, the fact that the entire establishment watched, some laughing at her is. No one save for an older lady even bothered to make a serious effort to help her. I am absolutely devastated at this.

I am heart broken for the lady that suffered the attack (which resulted in a seizure), but I just kept watching, in tears, and thinking "this could so very easily have been my love".

Why do things like this have to happen? I believe it comes down to ignorance, fear of what is unknown, and hate. The sad issue at the core? Regardless of how much love is spread throughout the queer community, it will always be battling the hate until we are first class citizens. And even then I am not confident it will ever really go away.

The point of this particular rant is quite simple: Keep your mind open, and be aware that not everyone fits into neatly labeled categories. Some people have to face this world every day in a body that's just never been quite right. Isn't that enough of a challenge for them? Be a friend, a courteous stranger in a fast food place. Be humane."

Editor's note: What do YOU think of Chandra's post? Leave a comment and let her know! You can also reach out to Chandra and read more from her by visiting her blog "The Other Side of the Looking Glass."

Selected reading for more on the subject:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Psychology: An Introduction

Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals


tomboy said...

this is so horrible and sad :(((

but little by little (i WANT to hope that) things are changing!!!

The Tame Lion said...

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit.

Kristen said...

The realization of the severity of society's treatment of those different than even the already 'different' scares me to death. I've always considered myself somewhat of a free spirit and activist for all minority causes, but this actually really hits home for me. I'm a lesbian woman. I've been out of the closet since I was 13 (with a brief step back into the closet due to familial and religious interference when I was 15) and just moved halfway across the country to the backwoods of Virginia to be with a woman whom I believe to be 'The One'. Recently, however, my fiance informed me that she has always felt out of place and even, at times, trapped inside of it. I'm extraordinarily open minded and theoretically have no problems whatsoever with the idea of her changing her body, I am however running into some issues with the idea of having to rearrange my own sexuality and identity when and if 'she' becomes a 'he'. But personal issues aside, it infuriates me to discover after a few long nights of research just how difficult it would even be for her to acquire a skin that she can feel comfortable in, and all the risks it would include both before, during, and after the procedures. She doesn't have good insurance, and certainly not insurance that would cover the costs of the therapy required beforehand and the surgeries, and simply put, even if the economy were in tip top shape we couldn't afford even the most minimal of surgeries without at least partial coverage. I love her and I want to do everything I possibly can to make sure she is as happy as she can possibly be, but unfortunately it's looking like an impossible dream and nothing more. It breaks my heart.