express got in touch with Ramon Te Wake to ask her opinion on Michael Hootman’s article Can the LGB’s Really Understand the Ts?
My initial response Michael was to find you, shake you and perhaps drown you like a cat in a bag, but I realized I didn’t really want criminal charges, just over a few words you wrote – that would just be far too stressful. You see I don’t want to get too upset cause it might affect my “debilitating physical condition of being a transgender woman”. As you pointed out I experience a lot of “suffering”, “being on hormones and needing treatment” and then I need to “correct myself through surgery” because that is just all we are and all that we do, hormones, correcting and suffering. Yep that’s us, we’re a hot mess!
I get it, we should have a “commonality of experience” but we’re just too different for you and your life as a gay man to comprehend. I feel so bad that I and many other trans people have caused you to be so … dumb. “Like a lot of gay men I use the term, ‘LGBT’ but without consciously thinking about the T’s, simply because the condition is so far from my experience or frame or reference”.
I have an idea. Its called educate yourself. It’s called doing some research about our history about our collective fight. Before you rattle off a whole bunch of stuff that you really don’t know or care to know.
It’s about understanding those who came before you and those who fought the good fight so you could sit there and ponder about dismantling a community that you did not build or even respect. Cause if you did – you’d realize that a lot of us don’t necessarily understand the life journeys of others in our community however we accept people for being who they are. Because that is what we do. No where along the way did anyone in my realm go, I don’t get that group of people, so we should separate. Who do you think you are? Do you to think your challenges, your fear your pain and your suffering is that different to mine or to someone who identifies as bi-sexual or intersex. That’s not what makes us different, it’s what makes us the same.
I hope you get stuck with us for the rest of your life. And just remember, even though you are second in line in the LGBT acronym it doesn’t make you any more correct, superior and unfortunately for us it doesn’t make you anymore smarter.
Ramon Te Wake