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A growing frustration that I've been contending with over the past year is how much trans advocacy is grounded in an individualist and liberal understanding of gender, rather than, say, a socialist feminist, radical feminist, decolonial, or other structural analysis.
And a big part of that frustration comes from looking back at my own history of trans advocacy, and seeing how much of it is grounded in themes of personal choice, individual identity, self-improvement, and a naive understanding of the rights of the individual.
My sincere hope is that the currents within trans advocacy and transfeminism that are materialist continue to grow, and that as trans people we constantly work to build political coalitions that reach beyond our own community, and that we do queer and feminist history-keeping.
I feel deeply sad about how much trans activist work goes in to trying to demonstrate the validity of trans identities, seemingly as an end unto itself, to seek accommodation within violent systems in a way that ultimately does not overturn those systems. That's liberal feminism.
My sadness deepens when so much of that validation-seeking rests upon biological essentialism -- searching for medical proof of the correctness of trans people's identities. Biological essentialism is a Victorian-era monstrosity that has never led toward gender emancipation.
To be clear, a lot of anti-trans or "gender critical" theory is equally built upon biological essentialism, and often unintended misogyny.

I just want the dialogue to start with a recognition of women and trans people as subjects of capitalism and patriarchy, and go from there!
Sylvia Rivera once wrote of 'transvestites' as "your half sisters and half brothers of the revolution" and in many ways I continue to find meaning in that conceptualization. To me, it names the importance of difficult coalition-building rather than seeking sanitized 'acceptance'.
Anyways, individual trans people believe all sorts of different things, and nobody is under any obligation to participate in advocacy because of their social location.

This is about people who engage in trans advocacy and claim to speak representatively for a trans community.
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Keep Current with Avery Alder, Buried Without Ceremony

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