Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making trouble? Of course!

Perennial "troublemaker," Antonia D'orsay, has asked the LGTB community a series of questions on The Bilerico Project:

1. Why should the LGBT split apart?

2. Why can't people other trans folk speak out on trans topics?

3. Why should the LGBT stay together?

4. Why should people accept letting trans people go from legislation?

5. Why should people accept letting gay men go from legislation?

6. Why are we all allies to each other instead of part of one another?

7. Why do people think there isn't an LGBT community?

8. Why do people think there is an LGBT community?

9. Why don't we start our own political party?

10. What makes a person part of the problem, instead of part of the solution or someone outside the whole issue?

The first 8 questions have, as an underlying assumption, something that's not true - that there are no trans lesbian and gay people so it's actually possible to split the community along those lines. I can't answer these questions without accepting this assumption, something I cannot do without denying the existence of at least part of who I am.

As far as question 9 is concerned, well, what possible good would it do in the political structure that exists in the United States? Even if it were possible to unite those who hold the extremely divergent political beliefs within the TBGL community it would use up so much energy and have so little beneficial effect on the fight for equality that I think it would be a waste of time.

The last question, #10, "What makes a person part of the problem, instead of part of the solution or someone outside the whole issue?" That one made me stop and wonder. How do I define someone who is part of the problem? How do I define the problem in the first place? I have to do that before I even start to consider the criteria for answering question #10. Is this referring to the problem of unity within the greater GBLT community? Is it the problem of the entire community's political and/or social oppression?

I suspect Ms D'orsay framed these questions in such an ambiguous way on purpose, to explore and expose LBTG people's prejudices and bad assumptions. The Deity knows there are all too many of us that hold such prejudices and bad assumptions, many times without even realizing it. It behooves us to follow the old advice about making the world a better place: Start with the one person you are certain to have control over. Yourself.

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