“Transtrending” is a Dirty, Filthy Ciscentric Lie

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Ever since trans folk have been in the public eye, we have been accused of being trans to be “trendy”. “Transtrending” as a concept is a fucking lie, propagated by a ciscentric culture that says “people are born one gender and stay that gender”. It’s a way to discredit transness – by making it a trend – but it especially discredits the types of transness that are most radical and dangerous to the status quo of ciscentrism. “Transtrending” also regulates what types if trans people are “really” trans from a ciscentric perspective. Ie, you are only “really” trans according to rules which have been set by a ciscentric culture, which doesn’t want transness to exist anyways.

Finding value in being trans according to standards set by a ciscentric culture which says only XYZ people are “truly trans” is like accepting water from a poisoned well. It is true that drinking from this well – because ciscentric culture has insisted trans people do so in order to gain a modicum of “acceptance” – will earn some approval for those who do. But it’s still going to make them sick. And it still might even kill them in the end.

To be clear: I don’t blame trans people for this. I blame a culture which is actively hostile and poisonous to us (and, I would argue, to all human beings on some level, but that is a digression for another day). If we want to change that, the solution is not to kowtow to the very rules and attitudes which do us harm.

Transtrending is a lie. It would be cool if people would stop imbibing in that filth.

Let me learn from where I have been

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I’ve been trying to figure out what I would write about the Lambda Literary Emerging Writer’s Retreat. I think the solution is just to sit down and write, and by the process of writing, get to what I want to say.

First off: Malinda Lo, my awesome workshop instructor, wrote a great post on the Retreat here. SJ Sindu, one of this year’s Fellows, also wrote about it here. A lot of people have Tweeted and blogged about the Retreat, but these two really hit on a number of things that echoed with my own experience.

I think if I could boil down said experience, there are two things which I gained, or learned from this retreat: