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 to Allo, allo

  1. Jesurgislac says:

    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 says:

    Welcome! Can’t wait to see your posts.

    feminist love,
    Jen

  3. Queen Emily says:

    Hi y’all.

    @Jesurgilac “Cis” is a remarkably handy word. Once you know it, it’s like ohh that really was necessary. But you know, some people are too Special Snowflakey to be confined by such a term (as if “trans” is something I’m just dying to be tagged with necessarily….)

  4. Nicole says:

    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.

  5. Jadey says:

    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!

  6. Marlene says:

    YAY!

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

  7. 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.

  8. Thomas says:

    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).

  9. herong says:

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

  10. Queen Emily says:

    @Thomas

    Yeah they are, but they are used by quite a lot of third-gender people. When someone uses “ze” to refer to me when I have explicitly referred to myself as a trans woman, it’s ungendering and cissexist to boot. Because it’s something that rarely if ever that occurs to cis people, but it’s happened to me a bunch.

  11. LoreleiHI says:

    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…
    Meh.

  12. Rebekah says:

    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).

  13. Queen Emily says:

    Also, thanks everyone else I haven’t waved at for the warm welcome.

    @LoreleiHI

    Hi (you get two hellos). That sounds really hard, I can’t imagine a worse place to come out than to the military. I also suggest she read my co-blogger Lisa’s post about MtF as a descriptor cos I do hate that particular word for the reasons Lisa outlines. But YMMV.

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