Privileged and Pretty Equals Success

This morning I received an email talking about a website called “The Pink Butterfly Network“. It claims to be a knockoff of Lynn Conway’s Transsexual Women’s Successes, pointing to transsexual women who should inspire us.

I like Lynn Conway, and her Transsexual Women’s Successes page has become more than just pretty faces. But this knockoff site and others like it bother me. A success to who? What qualifies as a success? Someone that is feminine? Someone that is pretty? To me, this list plays to the worst face of the trans-community. It’s reminds me of this:

It’s every ugly thing that radical feminists say about us. Successful=feminine, Successful=thin, Successful=attractive. How misogynistic and shallow is that?

Success stories in my book are Ethan St. Pierre, Merissa Richmond, Monica Roberts, Diego Sanchez, Meghan Stabler, Katrina Rose, Vanessa Edwards Foster, Allyson Robinson, Earline Budd, and Robyn Walters.  Not all of them are pretty, young, or feminine. They all have one thing in common… success.

Oh and I left one off the list… me. I am a successful transwoman. And I don’t need a website full of privileged white transwomen adorned with pink butterflies and glitter to know that.

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee. Abernathey currently hosts the Youtube Channel "The T-Party with Marti Abernathey."