A few months ago now, Laurie and Debbie asked me to write here. I was flattered and excited. When they asked, one of the things they mentioned was that they thought my voice would be a good addition to theirs; that I would write things different than what was already here.
I have found myself in an odd position. While I have not been shy about the fact that I am a trans woman and that I am queer as the day is long, I have made a point of not letting all of my posts be about trans and queer related issues. To be honest, I have not wanted to be heard solely in those terms. I have more to say about the world than that. I have been afraid that some of you would think to your selves something like, “Marlene always writes about trans stuff and I’m not interested in / don’t have lots of background in / can’t relate to that stuff.” I have found myself saying “The next thing I write about should not be trans / queer stuff.”
I believe that some of the most interesting and important things going on in feminism these days are happening in the area of trans feminism. This is a relatively new branch of feminism where things are still being defined and the balance of various multi-faceted issues has not yet been established. Trans feminism is a branch of feminism that is still in lively flux. I am fortunate enough to be close to what I feel are some of the most important discussions going on anywhere in feminism. I regret that I have hesitated to bring some of those discussions here.
My personal perspective on body image issues and body politics is shaped by my experience as a trans woman. My understanding of intersectional oppressions is similarly rooted. I believe that my perspectives on these things were part of what Laurie and Debbie were asking for when they asked me to write here.
One of the possible risks in writing about trans and queer issues is that people might not have the necessary background to fully understand or participate in those conversations. It is not uncommon on mainstream feminist blogs for complex conversations of trans issues to be derailed by 101 level questions and comments. Because of that, I am setting aside the comment thread of this post for 101 level discussion and questions. I may not answer every question; I will likely point some people towards the information they need rather than writing it here myself.
If I have underestimated you, please accept my apology. I have hesitated to bring the best I have to offer to this blog because of my own anxieties. Having come to the point of this decision, it seems obvious and I almost wonder what I was thinking.