Let's Change the Conversation(4 Posts)
I just watched this via Twitter (#AskMeThisNotThis). It's interesting.
I am increasingly of the mind that LGB has virtually nothing in common with T. Which is quite a mindset shift for me.
Listen to the lesbians in this conversation. They have almost nothing in common with the trans women, it seems to me.
It's also striking that there are no gay men featured - although I guess Cosmopolitan would argue that they're a women's magazine, so that's why. But Jake [forgotten his surname, sorry, the trans man who married a trans woman recently, front page news, activists for Mermaids I believe] is featured prominently, despite being a trans man. His wife in fact doesn't say much...
In the "Ask Me This Instead" bit at the end, all of the trans women pretty much without exception say they want to be asked about their appearance or asked on a date .
It also made me think - almost all of us are subject to personal questions that are sometimes inappropriate. Will you have a baby/another baby, have you lost weight/put on weight, will you get married/how do you feel about your divorce? etc. All of these questions are only inappropriate if the person asking isn't in a position to be asking, iyswim - it's fine to discuss things with people you're close to but you don't want to educate Aunty Barbara on your DP's side about your innermost thoughts and feelings. Presume it is the same for everyone regardless of their sexual or gender identity!
You know upon listening to that, my take aways are:
Firstly the lesbians were mostly saying stop asking who the man is as there isn't one whilst the TIMs were more invested in ask me on a date, or about my lips/ appearance (apart from Berghof if I recall).
Secondly, what I hated about it was they are all trying to get others to change rather than learn how to assert themselves and say "it's non of your business" to inappropriate questions.
I know they were asked for the purposes of the article however what struck me was the entitlement that comes expecting others to change.
Yes, precisely- the lesbians are saying “we are just women in a relationship”, the trans people were (mostly, it seemed to me) saying “we are women who want a relationship” - and furthermore, who want to be “asked out” which is one of those massively old-fashioned concepts.
On the surface it’s all about acceptance - but seems to me there’s a difference between what the groups are asking but I’m struggling to articulate exactly what.
I get the lesbians are comfortable with themselves and just frustrated at some of the uninformed questions. I would need to listen again to quote examples and don't have time just now - but I was left with the impression they were displaying appropriate amounts of empathy - for themselves and others - there was no hidden agenda.
With the others, there's this unspoken demand of "accept me on my terms, not yours" - it pushes me away as it's very self centred and doesn't leave any room for others - in other words it's all about them and their needs. It's very demanding.
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