The Transmisogyny Aimed at Joseline Hernandez is an Outrage
10 months ago
The ongoing sexist attacks aimed at women of color is something that bothers me
Some of the transphobic ignorance displayed in the black gossip blogosphere aimed at Ms. Hernandez is fed by stereotypical and false assertions on what a transwoman looks like. It also has its roots in loud and wrong transphobic writings penned by a depressing long list of radical feminists for four decades such as Janice Raymond, Germaine Greer, the late Mary Daly, Sheila Jeffreys and Julie Bindel.
It hasn't helped that since trans people began a renewed push in the mid-90s to gain trans human rights coverage, right-wing fundamentalist Christians, including some right-wing gay and lesbian fundamentalists have engaged in anti-trans bigotry and tactics to stop this coverage.
The white trans community has had a plethora of sympathetic popular culture trans characters on shows such as All In The Family, Ally McBeal, The L Word, Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money and the movie Transamerica. The last time a Black transwoman was portrayed on screen without being cast as a sex worker, drag queen or a murder victim was The Jeffersons ‘Edith Stokes’ in 1977, Sheryl Lee Ralph's ‘Claire’ in Showtime's Barbershop the Series and Tyra Banks' ‘Roni’ on the show All of Us.
[ALSO READ: Public Perception Of Trans Women Of Color]
Because the trans narrative has predominately been a white, upper, middle class one, far too often the people tapped to speak for the trans community on panels and talk shows, do the activism, or write articles for the trans community have been in that demographic. The invisibility of trans people of color in the media and LGBT movement resulting from that dynamic has led to a perception that transsexuality is a ‘white thang’ or trans people don’t exist in our communities.
Thanks to the rise of the trans blogosphere and Afrocentric blogs such as TransGriot, supportive trans allies and bloggers such as Womanist Musings and What Tami Said, increasing trans activism, ally organizations such as GLAAD, out and proud transwomen such as Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Valerie Spencer, Angelica Ross and Tona Brown, a tradition of Black trans activism that began in Philadelphia with the 1965 Dewey’s Lunch Counter Sit-In and the 1969 Stonewall Riots, we have begun to push back against the lies, negativity and outright distortions about who and what a transwoman is.
Our media outlets and legacy organizations such as the NAACP, the National Black Justice Coalition, and new ones like the Trans People of Color Coalition are beginning to facilitate the badly needed discussions inside and outside our community about transwomen and how we fit into the kente cloth fabric of it.
It’s a necessary conversation we need to have if we are going to stop the trans misogyny aimed at transwomen.