Sunday, 14 June 2020

Nerd Church - Supporting Black People, Trans People, and Black Trans People



(Warning: this post discusses racism, Transphobia, and racist, Transphobic, and Transmysogynoiristic murder.)



Brief note before I start: 

Please, please, please remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic with Covid 19/Coronavirus - a pandemic that disproportionately takes the lives of People of Colour/BAME people.

Stay safe. 
KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING - 2m/6ft apart if possible. 
Stay home when you can. 
Wash your hands A LOT. 
Wear a face mask if/when appropriate.






Supporting Black People, Trans People, and Black Trans People




 
Once again, the rights and lives of Black people, Trans people, and Black Trans people, are under threat.

I'm privileged in that I'm a White Cis woman. 

And after all the media attention has died down, I will still be a White Cis woman, and Black people will still be Black, and Trans+ people will still be Trans+.




There's a natural tendency that most humans have of wanting to fix the thing - quickly and simply, if possible.

And this isn't something we can snap our fingers and fix. 

Racism and Transphobia are deeply ingrained prejudices, so deep that they become integrated with the systems of society itself.




But not only are there no quick-fixes, but attempting -

as White people in the case of racism, or as Cis people in the case of Transphobia

- to say 'Why don't you...?' as if Black and Trans+ people somehow won't have thought of the most obvious options, is naive at best, ignorant at middling, and malicious at worst.

It's like someone's trying to open a locked door, and after watching them struggle for a few hours, we stroll up and say, 'Why don't you try the key?' as if we've suggested something earth-shattering.




So, despite my natural inclination to want to fix the thing - quickly and simply, if possible - I know I can't.

And that's frustrating.

And that frustration is actually good - it means we're motivated to change things. 




But we have to make sure we don't give in to that frustration in a way that puts the burden of change onto the oppressed. 

We have to make sure we don't lash out - especially not at the very people who need us to stick up for them.

We also have to recognise that there are things we can do - small things, maybe, but things we can do all the same. 

And if we can help, then why wouldn't we? (You have to answer that for yourself, dearest nerdlets. You may not like the answer.)



Supporting Black people


In case it still needs to be said: George Floyd was an unarmed Black man, murdered by the police in Minnesota. 

Black Lives Matter. 

George Floyd's life mattered.

I listed a few more cases of racial injustice in my post on 'Power and Privilege in 2020' a few weeks ago, but that post is a starting point, and a starting point only, with links explaining some very basic info. for each case.



Here's some ways you can begin to build on that knowledge, and support Black people:


Black BookTuber Tiana T eloquently discussed the current situation (with a focus on BookTube,) in this vid (run-time: 5.54):

(Warning: mild flashing images)










Nox the Reader has a masterlist of Black Lives Matter resources, which includes petitions you can sign, and places you can donate to.










Supporting Transgender people


(including Trans+ and NB+ people)


If you're not aware... J K Rowling decided to go on the offensive and pour Transphobia over pretty much everything.


(Warning: because of the nature of J K Rowling's words, the links and videos below discuss rape, sexual violence/abuse, and domestic abuse)


If you want a full breakdown of why what she said was hurtful, these two videos by Trans woman YouTuber Jessie Gender explain everything fully:



Run-time: 25.30







Run-time: 54.43








The UK Trans charity Mermaids also explained everything in an open letter to J K Rowling.




As part of her tirade against Trans people, JKR essentially used other marginalised and oppressed people as a shield and a weapon.

This included Cis women, Gay people, people with mental health problems, Autistic people, and people who have survived domestic abuse and sexual violence.




Domestic abuse and sexual violence is never acceptable, and it's terrible that J K Rowling went through that.

No-one deserves to be abused. 

No-one deserves to have their abuser interviewed about said abuse on the front of a national newspaper. (WTF is wrong with people?!)




But standing behind other marginalised groups as you throw metaphorical stones at Transgender people isn't ok.

And, as a Queer Cis woman with mental health problems, I am upset and disgusted to be used like this. 

Do not use me, and people like me, to hurt our Trans siblings. Just don't.




'Trans People Belong' written on a Trans flag in a heart shape
Via Giphy




I stand with Trans people.

Trans women are women, Trans men are men, and Trans+/NB+ people are people who exist beyond the M/F gender binary, and can use whichever pronouns and labels they feel most comfortable with.

Autistic Trans people are still Trans. 

Trans people with mental health problems are still Trans. 

Trans people who have survived abuse and violence are still Trans. 

Trans people are Trans regardless of sexual orientation.








It's not just blinkered and once-beloved authors who are Transphobic, there's a lot of Transphobia in the UK, and Trans rights are being removed in the US.




Here are a few more ways to support and learn about Transgender and Non-Binary people:




If you're feeling a little subversive, I wrote a post about Harry Potter fanfiction with Transgender main characters after a previous J K Rowling Transphobia incident - but please don't just read my post and think that's enough to support Trans people! I'm Cis, after all.




A couple of Trans+/NB+ YouTubers you can support:


*Black Trans+/NB+ YouTubers


...These are just a few, obviously - there's a lot more on YouTube.



Supporting Black Transgender people


(Again, this includes Trans+ and NB+ people)


Black Transgender people - especially Black Transgender women - are one of the most vulnerable groups in society.

The life expectancy for Black Trans women in the USA is just 35 years old. It's not good enough. It's not even close to good enough.




Two Black Trans women - Riah Milton and Dominique 'Rem'mie' Fells - were killed in the US this week. 

This. Week.

Their lives mattered.





You can support Trans People of Colour (PoC) by donating to the TGI Justice Project which supports low income Trans+ People of Colour who are incarcerated, or have been targeted by the police, in California.

There are many other funds etc. around the Interwebs - just always make sure the website is secure, dearest nerdlets!






I know, dearest nerdlets, that sometimes it can feel like you're a single drop in a wide ocean - but if the ocean had no drops, it wouldn't be an ocean.

...What I mean is: What you do matters.

Take care.












4 comments:

  1. This was an incredible post, Cee! First off, thank you for the resources. I have recently started watching Jesse @ Bowties and Books and Myonna Reads on Youtube, and both of them really have powerful platforms that I enjoy watching.

    On the JK Rowling situation, I'll just say that it's been so disappointing to see an author who has meant so much to so many people, become such a hateful person. She overcame so many struggles in life, and instead of using her experiences to reach out to marginalized people going through the same thing, she chose to be a toxic person. I've been so happy to see all of the Harry Potter cast members who have spoken out against her words, and I truly think that Harry Potter belongs to the fans now. We have the power to make it a diverse, peaceful and welcoming universe. And there's nothing she can do about that.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Em :) <3

      I'm proud & glad that the 'Golden Trio' have stood with Trans people. Unfortunately, J K Rowling is a symptom of a larger hostility to Trans+ people in the UK (and beyond) at the moment. And her influence isn't small - some people will listen to her and her utterly offensive stance. *sighs*

      Just remember to support & stand up for Black and Trans people!

      Delete
  2. Great post! Thanks for all the links. Recent events have unfortunately exposed a lot of terrible attitudes. I've got in so many arguments online with people from my home town who are mocking #blacklivesmatter, it's so disheartening to see how many people hold such racist opinions. I'm disappointed in J K Rowling as I've always been a big Harry Potter fan. It's so cruel of her to use her influence to endanger a marginalised group. The world is such a scary place right now and I already feel exhausted, so it must be awful for black and trans folk who have been fighting bigotry their whole lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It *is* exhausting. And I actually lose Twitter followers when I tweet anti-racist or anti-Transphobic things. Which really shouldn't be a surprise - before I put'Queer' in my Twitter bio I would lose 10-20 followers every time I tweeted about something LGBTQ+ (literally just a pride flag would lose me followers) - but still somehow is; I guess I still have a lingering belief in the goodness of people! Lol. I really wish people would stop trying so hard to prove me wrong.

      JK Rowling has always stood against bigotry - so it's extra-disappointing that she's spreading hatred this way. (All while pretending that it's a fight against sexism - I mean, how dare she?!)

      Just keep swimming & making the world a better place. And support Black and Trans people!

      Delete

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