I've been making comments along these lines at various places from time to time but a recent post at Bilerico has prompted me to fight through the flu i've come down with to blog about this. The post in question is here
The Sex and Gender Diverse population is a very large minority. With estimates of 1 in 500 people Transsexual, 1 in 60 Intersex, 2%-10% of the population regular Crossdressers and who knows how many of the other facets of S&GD there are thats a big minority. Just the MtF crossdressers alone are a demographic large enough to swing elections in some countries if they voted together.
But they aren't voting together. Our community is nigh allergic to the word politics. Our rights depend on politics. We are discriminated against in legislation written by politicians. Where we have had increased decriminalisation and protection it has been through politics. We DEPEND upon politics!
Yet many forums outright ban discussion of politics. I've been banned from one crossdresser forum for 'political innuendo' lol. In truth this is a negligence towards the rights of S&GD people. We NEED to discuss politics where related to S&GD rights! We NEED to be political.
Even those in the closet have an obligation to the rest of the community. There is an obligation to the next S&GD generation to make the rights and social acceptance and Transphobia situation better for them than we have grown up with. Especially as many S&GD variations have been found or are suspected to have genetic components. This means that acting to improve the situation of the S&GD community is part of the FAMILY DUTY of each and every S&GD person! And of their families! Because regardless of whether the S&GD person has children themselves their family members will carry those genes.
Something the Crossdressers' Wives especially whose concerns (or predictions of their concerns) so often direct or limit much of the lives of crossdressers need to address. Their children may well be carrying an S&GD gene. And peoples Neices, Nephews, Cousins...
Because of that fact it totally changes the dynamic of family-based arguments about the closet. Many stay in the closet to protect their family but in fact thats condemning relatives and non-relatives alike to the same societal and internalised Transphobia that has so harmed our own and past generations. People usually will sacrifice much for the sake of their children... well as some of those children or grandchildren will also be S&GD so families must consider what they will decide about that, what they owe to those S&GD descendants and family.
Now if families or individuals choose to remain closeted for whatever reason that does not let them off the hook. The responsibility to family and non-family S&GD people remains. There's much a closeted person can still do. Donations of even petty amounts to S&GD charities and organisations make a real difference. How you decide your vote should still consider candidates and parties stance on S&GD issues. Being closeted is no excuse for any iota of Transphobic remarks, sure it may help dissuade people from thinking your S&GD but it's hurting others in the process and thats just not justifiable. Instead if your going to be closeted your still obligated to speak out against Transphobia and be pro-acceptance.
It's not just S&GD people and their families that have obligations though. As i mentioned already with forums and politics-bans failing the community there is also responisibility from websites and bussinesses to the community.
There's many bussinesses that profit from S&GD people. If your making money from S&GD people then you should be contributing to S&GD people. From specialist transformation-product stores to the sex industry to ordinary online clothing stores which i'm sure get a significant amount of crossdresser bussiness.
The site i was banned from for 'political innuendo' crossdressers.com i used to reach via the domain name crossdressing.com. Not the first time a site has multiple addresses, nothing unusual there. And when i discovered that crossdressing.com no longer went to that site i assumed they'd just sold off a spare domain name like other non-S&GD forums i've been on have done... but they deleted all discussion about them doing this!
There was even a thread where one wife was distraught at finding 'Date A Crossdresser' in her husbands internet history. Did a mod step in and tell her that the web address crossdressing.com that formally went to crossdressers.com was now that 'date a crossdresser' site? No. In fact when i posted this information to that thread it was deleted! The owners for what ever reason deciding to hide the change apparently more important than the marriages of people the site was allegedly there to support. Whether sold off or both sites having the same owner this is hardly an ideal way of handling that. Since then they have added an online store to crossdressers.com.
I think few have any illussions of the profiteers of the sex industry contributing much to the community outside of the services they provide for money. Though often individual sex workers have been some of those fighting for S&GD rights.
And we shouldn't consider that bussinesses making money from S&GD customers is neccessarily a bad thing. Economic power is a way a community can show it's strength and numbers and gain more acceptance in society. But it has to be done in the right way. Helping raise the success of S&GD artists and supporting products positively marketed to and engaging the S&GD community (even regarding sexual products of trans-attraction portrayed positively) and supporting companies which donate to equality orgs and charities are all positive but purely exploitative bussiness have not much value and may actually have a vested interest in maintaining the closet and transphobia.
There's others with a responsibility to the S&GD community.
For example i noticed a book for parents on school bullying the other day and flipped through it and to it's index. Any mention of Gay, Transgender, Intersex in the index or contents? Nope. Just sexual harassment. Yet the amount of homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools is a serious issue. Thats a bad omission. And for that matter was their any books in the bookstore on raising Gay children? Trans children? Intersex children? Nope of course not, just books on raising 'boys' and others on 'girls' by which of course they mean cisgender cissexual heterosexual boys and girls.
Omitting SS&GD where it's actually an important factor that should be addressed even if controvertial is irresponsible. And the general absence of S&GD books is again a problem. It's not just irresponsible to the customers who have need of such it's also irresponsible bussiness practice when there is going to be a growing market for it.
We need to address the responsibility we all have to the S&GD community. If we want things to change we must act to change them. If we would have liked it if others changed things for our benefit in the past then we need to do that for the next generation. Where we have benefited from the actions of past equality-fighters we need to pay that debt forward. We need to consider the legacy we leave to our children and our families and future generations. We need to demand of those that profit by us or claim to exist to support us that they contribute to the cause of equal rights and community building. We need to accept that no matter our ideology politics is an essential part of gaining equality which we must all stop avoiding and start addressing. We need to get those who choose the closet to still contribute. We need to demand the silence over S&GD cease and we get appropriatey addressed in all avenues.
Like other communities with internalised oppression issues and an equality struggle our community is pretty fractious and bitter. But we need to start building our understanding of personal power and responsibility. To consider our responsibility to the community and ourselves.
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