Quinn Christopherson wins this year's Tiny Desk Contest
May 17, 2019 7:00 AM   Subscribe

posted by The World Famous at 7:27 AM on May 17

As a transmasculine person who finds lots of transmasc culture pretty weird--

There's a decent amount media of trans dudes reckoning with newfound privilege, and I wish it tended to go further than "ugh this is weird I don't know what to do", like, do you really not know what to do? You could stand up for women? You could go to bat for trans women?

I am happy for him for winning the thing, and I'm always stoked for Indigenous trans and two-spirit folks to get a platform, but do I ever wish trans dude politics tended to be less floppy and ineffectual.
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:36 AM on May 17 [15 favorites]

Lol seconded ITheCosmos. It's like, way to recognize patriarchy as kind of a bad problem, but now it's time to take the next step.

Interesting how it's newly out trans people who still have kind of basic ideas that get all kinds of platform, it's almost like freshly dipped folks are easier for the cis to swallow.
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 12:18 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]

I found it really powerful as an expression of that early moment but also understand the desire for more than the powerful expression of that early moment.
posted by mediareport at 2:20 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]

Interesting how it's newly out trans people who still have kind of basic ideas that get all kinds of platform

It serves a bunch of purposes, none of them particularly good (especially because it's mysteriously inevitably afab trans people who get attention). It subtly reinforces both the idea that "post-transition" trans people don't exist* and that a successful transition ends in assimilation. (Those would seem to be in tension with each other, but they're kind of the same thing.) By using transmasculine people to talk about male privilege, we get to sweep aside the experiences of women. (Not that our experiences of privilege and sexism don't overlap with those of women and aren't important to talk about, but boy do we ever get a disproportionate amount of attention.) It lets cis people remind themselves that surely we can't actually be men, else we wouldn't have been surprised by the male privilege. It lets people avoid challenging ideas about gender. All while they get to pat themselves on the back for how progressive they are! What? Me, bitter and cynical?

*I put "post-transition" in quotes because I don't think one's transition is every over, but there's very little discussion of those of us for whom the "active" stage of transition is long past.
posted by hoyland at 4:09 PM on May 17 [4 favorites]

yeah, no, i'm being incredibly weary and surly and bitter in my previous comment because there is simultaneously an explosion of trans voices but also, with very rare exceptions, those voices tend to hew to the particular narrative you've identified up there.

i'm really fucking tired of trauma, backstory, and freshly out trans people being all the cis can handle, but the flip side of that is i would rather chew on shards of glass than put myself out there right now. what a big dumb self-reinforcing shitshow
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 4:42 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]

haha i don't have the capacity for a more insightful comment and would generally just abstain but as a very grumpy, frustrated, but persistent trans woman i feel like expressing my shared dissatisfaction and bitterness about the state of.. let's call it intersectional introspection within queer spaces and how the media narratives guide a limited public-understanding and enable a kind of feel-good liberal mindset that protects the cis from having to be slightly less comfy for like a second to make space for us

posted by polyhedron at 7:14 AM on May 19

especially because it's mysteriously inevitably afab trans people who get attention

I said in another forum that the 'default' trans experience is an amab one and then thought "Is the fact that we get this weird attention contradicting that assertion?" and I don't think it actually is. That these "feel good" stories about trans people focus on transmasculine people is a way of saying "trans people aren't icky like you assume", but that assumption that trans people are icky is about transmisogyny and predicated on cis people assuming the default trans experience is an amab one. We can get used as the "good" trans people because people don't remember we exist. Feel good stories about transmasculine people are a heck of a lot easier for cis people than actually challenging their notions of trans women, especially trans women of color. I'd like it a heck of a lot more if cis people remembered we existed now and again without subtly reifying the marginalization of others at the same time.
posted by hoyland at 4:48 AM on May 23

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