See this kid right here? His name is Chris Lee, and he was one of the bad bitches who trained me during my first week at this company. Today was his last day, after more than two years here (for some perspective, Warby is only four years old). Forever thankful for CL, and Greene Street won’t be the same without him. Pouring one out for the homie this blue-skied evening.
Butler, 1991 (via feministtwins)
I think that’s a pretty damn invalidating quote in relation to trans people.
I’m not sure if this is invalidating to trans people within the scope of her argument, though. Now, Butler is hella over my head and so I can only frame it though my own experience. This isn’t a prescriptive reading here, it’s me applying my reading to my experience. To me, it seems like Butler’s talking about the perpetuation of social categories via embodiment and performance. I follow her argument and I think that it offers me a new entry-point into my relationship with my gender and transition. While my trans status is valid and important and my medical transition increased my quality of life by leaps and bounds, complicating the idea of how social categories come to be and come to hold weight is really essential for me to live out my masculinity in as non-damaging a way as possible
so much for love.
if i reject the name you gave me,
just know that it is not because she was never mine,
but instead that i grew up and out of her
like every pair of lee jeans or oshkosh
you ever bought for me at k-mart.
know that when i think of the name i leave behind,
i’ll remember her only with a tender…
dont worry kiddo, when tumblr is telling you youre a piece of shit for existing as who you are, you can just log off and go back to your life of luxury
come here, i need to talk to you for a second
being white, cisgendered, and heterosexual does not mean you have never struggled or suffered or known hardship. obviously that’s not true, and obviously you can have a pretty shitty life and still be white, cisgendered, and heterosexual.
but here’s the thing: even if you have struggled or suffered or known hardship, you have never struggled or suffered or known hardship on the basis of your race, gender identity or sexual orientation. that doesn’t mean you’ve had it better or worse (though i would hazard you have had it better, since there are very few people who will outright murder you for being a fiscally challenged white kid). the word “privileged” doesn’t mean “materially wealthy” and it doesn’t apply universally. example: i’m white, and i’m cis, but im also queer and a woman and not that materially wealthy. this doesn’t mean i’m not privileged by my cis-ness and my whiteness. it also doesn’t mean that i don’t know the hardships that come along with being a queer woman without a lot of money. what it means is that i know certain hardships but i don’t know others — some of who i am entitles me to things that others do not or can not have, based on institutionalized systems of oppression of which i am inevitably a part.
i understand that the word “privileged” carries certain connotations with it — material wealth, a carefree, happy-go-lucky lifestyle filled with candy and unicorns. but that’s not what privilege looks like. privilege is being able to go through life with the assumption that you will not be discriminated against for your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. it’s being able to call the police or approach an authority figure without fear for your own safety. it’s being able to expect representation in all forms of media, and respect and understanding from your peers. “privilege” manifests in many, many ways, just as hardship does.
privilege doesn’t mean you have an easy life. it means you have certain attributes that give you an advantage over people who don’t. that isn’t your fault, and it isn’t something you need to feel guilty about having, but you need to be aware of it so that you aren’t ignorant to its affect on other people, and so that you’re aware of the fact that it is something special that you got and other people didn’t. your privilege comes at the cost of someone else. you didn’t ask for it, but that’s how it goes. you didn’t ask to be poor either, but that’s where you’re at — and do you think that someone with more money than you doesn’t have more power? more representation? more privilege?
being poor and living in an abusive household and being white, cis, and hetero are not things that are mutually exclusive. you can be all of those things. very few people are purely privileged. but thinking that you can’t be poor and possibly have advantages over someone who is a person of color, or trans, or queer is a mistake. that doesn’t mean you don’t have hard times. it doesn’t mean your struggles aren’t valid. but it does mean that they are not the struggles that other people have.
and that? is a privilege.
reblogging for necessary commentary. being a queer trans* person of color and first-generation American, and being highly-educated and middle class are not mutually exclusive. very few people are purely privileged.