Seattle Trans* Pride was full on righteous. We took over public space, we marched in the streets through the heart of Capitol Hill, and we declared bathrooms open regardless of gender. Most importantly, we celebrated and expressed ourselves truly and freely in each other’s affirming presence. I loved seeing so many of us out, in one place.
It can be fairly isolating at times (even amidst all your love, dear cis friends), so it was really sweet to see trans and genderqueer/fluid/non-conforming folk not only be numerically superior but, more importantly, actually be the default. Sure, I had my idealistic moments of, “ahh, my people,” but even more amazing was the sense of profound ordinariness. Even at my most toned-down genderqueer, I’ve still been genderqueer; something always stuck out. Gathered together here, everybody stuck out and because of that, nobody stuck out. Rather, it was a collective expression of our full and beautiful ranges of gender variation. Aggregate ordinariness through personal uniqueness.
There are a lot of trans* folk in Seattle. It’s great to hang out with trans friends and chat about non-transbusiness things. Yet in the back of my mind, of course, that fact is there and bonds us even if we never speak transtranstranstrans–a little secret handshake. That’s what the mood at Cal Anderson Park was like toward people I didn’t know. We could just be, wearing our genders as a background without them having thrown back at us for defense, justification, or just because of their otherness.
Visibility, the concept, gets a lot critical talk time in the gendersphere these days. That’s proper. Many of us are visible everyday. Yet it’s nice to show up in force every now and again, at the very least to remind ourselves that we are not alone. But it’s also good to remind ourselves that we can get things done, that we do have power to take, and for those of us doing relatively well that there is power we could help others take for themselves.
Echoing what others have said about the march on GJL’s event page, it could have been longer. We seemed to have the numbers to warrant a longer march next year: perhaps the length of Broadway? Or maybe a loop around Pike/Pine? On the other hand, others have mentioned, as well, that there are accessibility issues that come with a longer march. Perhaps there’s a way to balance the two, though I’d personally prefer a shorter distance if it meant greater attendance. In any case, the crowd assembled at the rallying point at SCCC was impressive; however, when we took to the street, we became powerful and quite literally awesome. We demanded but we also celebrated.
We are paving the way for acceptance of gender variation and alteration, for bodily autonomy, for ourselves. But we’re also doing it for everybody else. Call it a trans* dividend and/or gender dividend maybe. It is the surplus of justice that we create and put back into the world. For example, I went with my cis butch friend, Claire. She’s my ally and her butch expression benefits from growing acceptance of my trans expression. At the same time, my trans expression, especially my butch expression which I’ve now been exploring in addition to my femme, benefits from acceptance of her butch expression. The old union ideas of mutual aid and solidarity are fully in play.
Mostly, huge props and a huge Thank You to Gender Justice League for organizing this for us, with us, by us, about us. And thanks to everyone for showing up. Like taking space yesterday, we have to continue taking space everywhere every day, making it our own because we belong.
Sick of waiting around for divine intervention
Take to the streets if you’re looking for redemption.
— “Fire of Freedom”, Black 47
Confidential to J.: My apologies for fumbling through what should have been a simple “thank you.” Nobody has ever approached me, completely out of the blue, to say nice things about my blog. I am so small potatoes, so I was completely left speechless. Again, thank you for the super kind words!