This is a guest post by Kate Bornstein. Kate is an author, playwright and performance artist whose work to date has been in service to sex positivity, gender anarchy, and the building a coalition of those who live on cultural margins. Her work recently earned her an award from the Stonewall Democrats of New York City, and two citations from New York City Council members. Her latest book, “Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives To Suicide For Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws” (Seven Stories Press) is, in Kate’s words, a “runaway underground best-seller.” Other published works include the books Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us; and My Gender Workbook. Her books are taught in over 150 colleges around the world.
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us is the first book I read after beginning my transition back in 2003. I would say her thoughts on sex and gender, expressed in that book, are probably what’s most influenced my thoughts on the subject. Kate’s book is what got me to question my preconceived notions on sex and gender — the limitations of a sex and gender binary that even many transsexual people subscribe too — in the first place.
Kate’s Blog is Kate Bornstein’s Blog for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws.
Kate Bornstein is yet another member of the trans community who I’ve asked to share their thoughts on federal hate crime legislation — the hate crime legislation that was signed by President Obama on October 28, 2009.
By Kate Bornstein
So now we’ve got a federal law that deems it a hate crime if you go after someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s a big deal. That includes a great many people. Last time I looked, the people who define themselves based on their sexual orientation or included all these folks who — if you fuck with them — you’re facing hate crime charges.
|L for Lesbian||D for Drag Queens||G for Genderqueer|
|G for Gay||D for Drag Kings||T for Two Spirit|
|B for Bisexual||D for DragFuck Royalty||K for Kinky|
|T for Transgender||I for Intersex||P for Pornographers|
|Q for Queer||F for Feminists||P for Pansexual|
|Q for Questioning||F for Furries||P for Polyamory|
|A for Asexual||F for Femme||Q for Queer Heterosexual|
|A for Adult Entertainers||B for Butch||ETC for et cetera|
|S for Sadomasochists||M for MSM||AI for ad infinitum|
|S for Sex Workers||W for WSW||AI for queer Artificial Intelligence|
|S for Swingers|
Now, if the Hate Crimes Act includes all those people, then hip-hip-hooray for our side. As a friend recently quipped on Twitter, “One giant step for transkind.”
Yes, yes. Just the way it is — even if most people disagree with my list here — the bill is a big step forward in LGBTQ etc freedom. One step at a time, right? I know what that’s about, one step at a time. I’m a good 12-stepper — sometimes, and with some things. So Yay! for this giant step.
AND I’m impatient. I’m impatient not for more laws that would protect more people. I’m impatient for change in our culture that would bring us closer to not needing the frakking laws in the first place. I’m impatient for change in our culture that would include a sex-and-gender political coalition that would include everyone I’ve listed above. And that would be only the first step in my plans for world domination:
1. We all of us — sex positivists and gender anarchists — would have to agree on an organizational structure that doesn’t other anyone. There are some good examples in religions like the Quakers and the Unitarians — and other religions that don’t base themselves in patriarchal rule — which is often a key factor to homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and sex negativity. (Sex and gender activists would do well to acknowledge our allies in religious circles of spiritual power. We’re gonna need a whole hell of a lot of religion if we’re gonna stay together as a band of committed sex and gender outlaws.)
2. We’d have to agree on a political philosophy for ourselves that wouldn’t other anyone. Frak this left-wing, right-wing BS. That’s just another binary and if you’re reading this column, you know how to deconstruct a frakking binary: you expose it as the lie that masks the truth of a hierarchal system of oppression. So we’d need a political philosophy that transcends the binary of left and right wing politics. There are models for that sort of thing going way back in time to Goddess culture and matriarchal rule. Well, wouldn’t that be hotter and more fun than what we’ve got? It’s only going to work once the left-wing/right-wing false binary has been resolved. There’s truth in both sides. We just need to abide by the politics extant where those truths overlap. And please, we’d have to agree not to be mean to each other.
3. We’d need a name that everyone would have fun using for themselves, a name that included everyone who thinks highly of their own commitment to sexual positivity and the embracing of gender anarchy.
4. The day-to-day activism/politics of this coalition would be all about agreed-upon compassionate triage and timely action.
5. Finally, we’d need to establish strong alliances with activists fighting for equity along the political vectors of age, race, class, religion, looks, ability, citizenship, language, and family status… and any other hierarchal system of oppression I’ve failed to spot and mention.
6. Once we’ve established those alliances, we and our allies need to get together in a big room on a representative basis — all of us people who are fighting for equity of identity, desire, and power in gender, sexuality, age, race, class, religion, looks, ability, citizenship, language and family status. As a new and larger and more diverse groups, we’d have to do steps one through four above. Then we should be ready to take over the frakking world.
But that’s not going to happen for a long time, if ever at all. So the best each of us can do right now is give heartfelt thanks to the people who pushed through and approved the Hate Crime Bill. Here’s hoping we can make the most of it and build ourselves a world in which we no longer need laws.
* Pam’s House Blend tag: Transgender Hate Crimes Essay Project