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Opinion

The ‘Trans Cabal’ Replies

This video has been compiled by TransBareAll as a response to recent transphobic articles in the press. We don’t aim to debate the merits of freedom of speech, or the rights and wrongs of different sides of an argument. Instead we want to show the real impact of the way language is used, how it can affect the people it targets.

In the media (and society in general) there are some words which we never use, such as the ‘N’ word. We don’t choose to avoid them because we are oppressed, but because we understand that due to their historical and social context they aren’t merely offensive, they are directly harmful. We understand that for some terms it is up to the group they have been used against to re-appropriate them. Some of the terms published lately are examples of these — terms so deeply rooted in discrimination, exclusion, hatred and violence, that it is just not ok to say them. Ever. Because of the damage that they do.

This short film includes trans masculine people and allies talking about the impact of this language. Although recent publications seem to refer specifically to trans women, the language used does not separate us — it includes all trans people, and everyone who loves and respects us. It refers to us. It refers to many of the people in this film. Using this language harms all trans people and our wider communities of families, friends, partners and lovers. This is not about offense, it is about hurt. It goes so much deeper.

The voices you hear in this film are not the most vulnerable amongst us, because they won’t have felt safe enough to take part. As these are the feelings of people who are confident enough to share these emotions, we can only imagine what the others are going through.

Over coming days and weeks we will add the complete videos that clips in this film were taken from to our youtube channel, along with new videos which have been submitted. If you want to take part then please email us a short film — guidelines are available on our website.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all those brave enough to speak out in this project, to Rob of www.softley.co.uk for helping with the final edit, and to all involved in TransBareAll for the feedback and support which made this happen. Our support and friendship goes to all those affected by the recent transphobia they’ve been forced to endure.

[alert type=”info”]For more information about this video project: TransBareAll[/alert]

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Written By

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.

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