I don’t know what Free Glasgow Pride should do.
What I do know is this: the situation is complicated. There are a lot of competing factors at play here. There’s complex history- as history always is, especially when you’re talking about the people at the very front line of the intersections of racial, gender, transphobic, homophobic and class oppressions. There’s a complex present, because each and all of those things intersect and conflict with each other and they’ll do so in different ways in every context. In every city and town and country, because all of us have different histories and presents and unless we’ve lived something that is so far removed from the public eye and public discussion, we haven’t got a goddamn clue.
Not even if we’re queer. Not even if we love drag shows. Not even if Some Of Our Best Friends Are Trans Women.
What I will say is this:
To the Pantis, and the Dan Savages, and every other cis person with a large platform who’re using it against a small, local group who are muddling their way through: Stop it. Stop it now. This is using your power and platform to impose a version of LGBTQ community that continues to privilege the voices of cis gay men over everyone else. This is responding to the concerns of people far more vulnerable than you in our community with contempt and dismissal.
And to the rest of us: If you’re cis, or if you’re AFAB? Doesn’t matter how queer you are, we need to stand back and stay the hell out of this conversation. We do not get the context. We do not get the nuance. We do not get the history. We need to stand back and let trans women and other AMAB trans people have some space to have this one out. Without being berated and scrutinised by cis people and AFABs at every turn.
If we want to get involved? We can do that by reading what people have to say. By finding out more about what Free Glasgow Pride’s concerns are and where they come from. By listening to what people within those communities who disagree have to say. By educating ourselves on the drag spaces that gave space to trans women who have/had nothing else, on the drag spaces that trade in racism, misogyny and homophobia, and on the spaces that are all and some and none of those things. By continuing, then, to step back and let the people whose lives are most affected by this have their conversations and make their decisions. By acknowledging that those decisions will vary, because every context and every history and every present is different. And that those decisions will change, because the present moves on.
And throughout all this, to step back. Our job here- our only job, aside from educating ourselves- is to help to open up those spaces for the people who are affected to have their conversations. So we show each other where we can go to educate ourselves. And we step back. And we get the rest of the cis people and the AFABs to step back. So that trans women and AMAB enbees can have spaces to sort this out.
So do that.
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