Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009 - Drag Queens vs Transsexuals - my concerns with a particular Pride week event's theme

This has nothing to do with running, but I wanted to express my thoughts on the fact that Drag Racers (men who dress up in women’s clothing and run/race around the block for the purpose of entertaining others) will be acting and speaking on behalf of transsexuals and their issues at this year’s st. john’s pride week (apparently they will speak about the global problem of violence against transsexuals).

I’m all for drag queens having fun, but I’m sorry, but I can‘t give my approval of the concept that these people should be representing me or speaking about my issues. i'd like to think that i or other transsexuals are quite capable of speaking on our own behalves, and that we would welcome the opportunity to do so in a more appropriate environment. Likewise, let's allow the drag racers and their fans to enjoy themselves in their time of fun and pride and not get bogged down with advocacy work of others who probably don't want them advocating on their behalf anyway.

there's a huge difference between drag queens and people like myself who are in the process of medically transitioning from one sex to another. the concept of drag racing for entertainment purposes is fine withe me; however, it does nothing to dispel the myth that transsexuals are mentally ill or incompetent; nor does it help gain societal understanding of the fact that transsexuals require medical transition for health reasons; nor does it dispel the fact that drag racers and transsexuals are two different things.

if anything, this pokes fun at people like me.. transitioning is not funny, it is a serious matter with serious problems.. i don't think this is funny at all and i certainly don't like being made fun of. the 'violence against transsexual' cause is a good one, but i would not suggest having drag racers or a drag racing event as the means to raise awareness of this. violence is a serious matter and drag racing does nothing to help transsexuals get taken seriously in society

there's a time for fun and a time for business. i totally understand that LGB's and cis (non-transsexual) Ts see pride as a time for fun and celebration, hence the name 'pride'... but for a transitioning person like myself, I see pride as a chance for societal education and awareness. Having drag racers speak about us or act on behalf of transsexuals will only add to the confusion that is out there.

It's bad enough that the T community has been lumped together with the LGBs, it's even worse that all representatives of the T community have been lumped together with each other.

For those of you who are not familiar, LGB is an umbrella of people who do not identify as being heterosexual. However, T has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

T is a group of people that encompasses a variety of gender/sex differentiation matters. This includes everything from people who cross dress for fun or for profit, to people like myself who have a serious medical issue that requires physical corrective action from health care professionals.

For every pride week event that I attend, I will not be there to celebrate, but will be there to tell my story and teach people the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity.

I generally hate to be critical of the Pride week or the Pride committee in anyway, as I feel the concept is excellent and I know the people involved have worked really hard, but I do feel that they are making a major error here with this decision and it warrants my speaking out.

in addition to having transsexual health care matters discussed at another pride week event, i have proposed to them that an alternate stage be arranged in a different time and at a different place for transsexuals to represent themselves and speak about violence and other matters that are close to their heart.

Meanwhile, I wish the drag racers and their fans all the best and hope that their pride week experience is a good one.


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