Thursday, January 10, 2008

TransForming Community videos

So in the past I’ve mentioned the annual National Queer Arts Festival event TransForming Community, which is dedicated to exploring the friction at the intersection of contemporary trans and queer communities. (an anthology of the same name and theme edited by Michelle Tea and myself should *hopefully* come out sometime later this year – it’s been put on hold as our publisher has recently had to relocate...).

Anyway, the Queer Cultural Center (who puts on the festival) has recently YouTube'd excerpts of individual performer’s pieces from shows over in the last three years. There are 20 of them and they are all great, so you should definitely check them all out!

As you know, I’ve written exhaustively* about the issue of trans woman-exclusion, irrelevance and invisibility in queer women’s spaces, and how this invisibility is exacerbated by the increasing numbers of trans men who feel entitled to inhabit women’s spaces too. A lot of the performers brought up this issue in one way or another, so I wanted to highlight a few of those pieces:

of course, there is me ranting about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival trans woman-exclusion policy

Shawna Virago (who is a personal hero of mine!) talks about a similar policy at a bay area women’s bathhouse called Osento

Michelle Tea has a few funny and poignant words about why trans men are “in” and trans women “out”

and finally, the piece that I find to be the most brave and moving is Prado Gomez’s piece (I raved about this back in June after seeing him perform it live). It addresses the hypocrisy of trans men who move through the world as men, yet distance themselves from the word “man” whenever they find it convenient. Personally, I feel that this video should be required viewing for all newly transitioning trans guys.

anyway, hope you enjoy them all! -julia

* when I say “exhaustively,” I don’t necessarily mean that I’ve said everything there is to say about the topic, but rather that I exhaust myself by writing so much about it.

1 comment:

proudprogressive said...

i just want to chime in and say that for what its worth i think the work you are doing is extemely important. Very critical in the overall progress of lgbT liberation and community building. Nothing breaks my heart more, than seeing division among all of us ALL OF US, who are viewed by (here i go using the lingo new to me) - cisgendered (otherwise known as those without an iota of gender dysphoria) as GENDER OUTLAWS. I got my pet peeves of course. But seperatism, had its place, now is the time inHo for being inclusive as possible when it comes to TG issues esp. (fetishers i would postulate,have their own affinity groups,to find support and education in and muddy the waters further) The goal in my mind, being that right NOW, we got to get simple minded folks to wrap their heads around, TG/TS realities and lives. Keep up the good work julia, one day society will catch up..and our own lgbTq comm as well hopefully see that there is much more that unites us, than divides us. Too many divisions,labels are counter productive in fighting the true oppressors and we inadvertantly end up oppressing "our own selves" - not the way to run a successful liberation/educational struggle eh ?

peace !