Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm Not Angry. I'm Tired.

I am exhausted. I’m so sick and tired of people thinking of me as “angry” for calling them out on their bullshit and ignorance. I’ve really been noticing the privilege switch when it comes to my trans* identity lately. Before if I called men out on their sexism they might get angry but they never accused me of just trying to “make them look bad”. Every time I have engaged with another male in some kind of conversation about sexism, rape culture, or misogyny they have accused me of only standing up to them and calling them out in order to make them look bad, be noble, or make myself feel better. Not because it’s the right thing to do because that would mean they were wrong. By calling me out, they shift the blame off of themselves and it’s sad.

I’m not sure what I would be trying to make myself feel better about, but I hear it all the time. When you call someone out on their racism though, whether it be microaggressions or blatant ignorance, it gets trickier though. I read a blog a while back about how in the 60’s it was easier to call someone out on their racism. (Easy in terms of identifying a racist person, not in terms of calling them out because it was very unsafe for many folks) Today that is not the case. Every time I’ve stood up to say that something is racist, I’ve had to prove it. I don’t understand why white people who call themselves white allies or allies to queer communities or queer people themselves feel the need to have this proven instead of just realizing that a person of color would obviously be a lot better about identifying these kinds of things than they would.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some legitimately fantastic white allies out there because there are. The majority of them however, aren’t what they say they are. And this goes beyond being a white ally. It’s being an ally in general to any community. Often times people who say they are allies are all talk. And that includes me, but I’m working on it. It can be difficult to balance all the things you already have to do with being active in the queer community and educating yourself. Especially while trying to find the time to take care of yourself and recover after a hard day or conversation. But if the people who say they care and want to be involved and help aren’t doing it, how can we expect those who oppose us to do it?
I’m not trying to be noble or make myself feel better about anything. I’m trying to be the best ally that I can be and work on myself in order to help those who don’t have the power or space to help themselves. Those who are maybe too afraid or in too much danger to try and put themselves out there. I’m tired of people telling me I’m “too sensitive” and then constantly hearing racist jokes, rape jokes, misogynistic jokes, etc. I’m tired of telling my female bodied or identified friends to call me as soon as they get home. I’m tired of worrying about my queer friends all the time. I’m tired of constantly having to speak for the trans* community when I only make up a fraction of it. I’m tired of people thinking it’s appropriate to ask me what my genitals are like because they don’t see me as a whole person or respect me. I’m tired of people thinking they have ownership of my body, my hair, and my identity. I’m tired of having to explain to people why they are being offensive when it’s often times very hurtful. But mostly, I’m tired of sitting around and waiting for the world to change. Let’s make it happen, y’all.

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