Allo, allo

I see a couple of the other guest bloggers this week have already started, so I figured twas time for me to get cracking myself with an introduction. I do this with some anxiety, since my introductory thread last year All Went A Bit Wrong

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Queen Emily. I blog mostly at Questioning Transphobia, though I occasionally pop in at Hoyden About Town. I’m a Greek-Australian trans woman currently living in the US, in a queer relationship, unemployed academic and eater of jellybeans.

I’m likely to write about trans people and outing, institutionalised transmisogyny, trans women’s relationships to feminism, and the problems with neo-liberal assumptions in feminist blogging. Oh, and the magnificence of Canadian electropop band Dragonette.

In terms of my moderating style, I don’t think I’m too tough. However. I’d like to re-iterate my basic principles from last year for what kinds of comments are problematic:

Un-gendering. Trans people are the sexes and genders they say they are. A story about a trans woman means female pronouns, and male pronouns for one about a trans man. Don’t use third gender pronouns (eg “ze” and “hir”) on a binary identified person. For genderqueer people, they may use third gender pronouns, or they may not. If you’re not sure ask (but don’t be surprised if you get an exasperated response, this may be the eleventy billionth time).

Thread drift. Ok, any thread is going to have a bit of drift, but it can be remarkably hard to get cis people to focus on actual instances of discrimination against trans people. Not every thread is appropriate for a trans 101 question. If I’m talking about immigration, I don’t want to have to stop that necessary conversation by answering what “cis” means or why I felt the need to transition. If someone repeatedly insists on making a thread about themselves and not the subject at hand, I’ll probably begin with the mocking and end with the banning if it continues long enough.

Transphobic bingo. Feminist transphobia has a long and not so distinguished history. Some common memes include: “really a man/woman,” “but why do they have to modify their bodies,” “reifying gender binaries!11“, “trans women has patriarchal privilege,” “my theories are more important than your lived experience (aka Is it Theory Wank Time Yet?)” and “I’m not cis, I’m normal.” And any objectifying questions/comments about trans bodies (cis people have a disconcerting habit of focusing on trans genitals) will probably go straight to reject pile.

And that’s that. Hopefully we’ll have a fun two weeks together… now, if you have any questions about whether I’d take a pill to not be trans… don’t ask them!

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13 Responses

  1. Jesurgislac
    Jesurgislac June 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm |

    Welcome back to Feministe. Yay.

    (“Cis” is one of those words that locked into a lexical gap I’d been aware I had but didn’t know what would fill it. I just thought I’d use comment space to say that.)

  2. feministjen
    feministjen June 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm |

    Welcome! Can’t wait to see your posts.

    feminist love,

  3. Nicole
    Nicole June 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm |

    Hooray I always love getting more trans stuff on my Google reader! Specially from places I don’t see it that often.

    My question is definitely better then the pill one.

  4. Jadey
    Jadey June 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm |

    Queen Emily, I loved your guest posting here last year (and your year-round contributions elsewhere), and I’m thrilled to see you back at Feministe. Here’s to everything going a lot smoother this time around!

  5. Marlene
    Marlene June 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm |


    I would take a pill that would make me not irritated by stupid questions.

  6. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin June 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm |

    I’d take a pill to be able to KNOW gender in totality so as to fully understand. It is so subjective in so many ways and even though I myself identify as genderqueer, it’s quite possible to unintentionally invalidate someone else’s identity or to completely misrepresent it.

  7. Thomas
    Thomas June 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm |

    Don’t use third gender pronouns (eg “ze” and “hir”) on a binary identified person.

    I’d always understood “ze” and “hir” to be gender-neutral pronouns, rather than third-gender pronouns (and for what it’s worth, that also seems to be the understanding of this document on gender-neutral pronouns).

  8. herong
    herong June 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm |

    Ditto to all the YAY!!s. Looking forward to the next two weeks!

  9. LoreleiHI
    LoreleiHI June 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm |

    Thanks, I’ll love reading your articles, and will probably have my spouse read them too. She’s MtF, and not near as into the blogosphere as I am. We have the sad problem of people getting very uncomforable when she presents as female (not often outside our home, and only in LGBT-friendly spaces, as she’s active duty military). Not everyone (and most do try to at least squash it a bit), but…

  10. Rebekah
    Rebekah June 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm |

    I am thrilled that more blogging about trans people and gender will be covered here at Feministe, and I kind of love you forever for referencing Evolution’s Rainbow in one of the posts you linked to (Joan Roughgarden FTW).

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