Friday, January 14, 2011

On Being A Un-Person

In the dystopian world of Oceania the worst fate was to become a un-person. Not only did you disappear you had never been. All record of your existence was erased.

Trans people face this fate all the time. If we are lucky our deaths are reported as ‘man living as woman’, if not we are ‘gay men found in woman’s clothing’ or ‘masculinly dressed women.’ We are buried under the wrong name with the wrong gender pronoun. Our lived existence is erased, who we really were is gone and we become un-person’s. We are forced to fight for our trans sibling’s identities so they can be remembered as who they were not as some bigoted relatives wanted them to be.

I just became aware of a nasty new turn to this erasing of our chosen identities, a greedy relative trying to re-write the narrative of a life while the person is still alive albeit gravely ill. Catherine Ryan Hyde is trying to appropriate Gender Warrior Leslie Feinberg’s identity. Please read Feinberg’s impassioned post and reblog it. Fight the un-person movement directed at trans people.

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