I’m not big on fashion, but I’m celebrating someone who dares to do what he wants- beauty standards, acceptance of gender expression, misogyny in the industry, and all other points be damned. Andrej Pejic is on the cover of Elle Magazine, Serbia, and he defies traditionally accepted gender norms by posing for men’s AND women’s lines of clothing (beautifully, I might add.)
read about it here>>>:
It’s all over the web, and opinions on what his exposure to the press is doing for the non-normative acceptance movements are varied and heated. But once again, someone posted a response to all this that hit my rage button just right. It’s the source that shocked me this time.
Posted by some freaked out trans girl:
I suppose this can be thought of as positive if you want people to see us as genderless freaks inhabiting some midway point as third genders. Personally I dont want anyone to think I am anything like this person who is a cartoon. Publicity is only good if it portrays us in an accurate fasion. I dont like being lampooned.
In four short sentences, I was floored. It hit me, hard. There are people out there, people in the trans community, who think like this. If you see nothing wrong with the above statement, maybe my response below will clear things up a bit.
I love how, in this hypothetical situation you’ve dreamed up, you draw this circle (I’m assuming people you consider to be “respectably transgender”) and call it [Us], put Pejic on this representative pedestal, and posit that his gender expression is going to be responsible for casting a bad image on yourself and everyone else [in your trans circle].
I love how you then go on to:
– make a specific point of letting us know how NOT like him you are (which I would have assumed anyway based on your stifling binary presentation),
– belittle and marginalize his gender expression to [Cartoon] when there are plenty of cis-hetero-normative folk who wouldn’t think twice about saying the same thing of you,
– assume that he’s out there, looking for publicity specifically to highlight what it’s like to be [You and/or Anyone Else in your Trans Circle],
– and finally, assume that he’s out there with the intention of representing or “lampooning ANYONE.
He’s not there to represent anyone but himself, and/or those who might consider themselves like him (which I would assume are few and far between; Pejic is one of a kind.) Just like I’m not here to represent you, or trans men, or genderqueer folk, or any other number of marginalized, generally considered “distasteful” folk. I’m here to be myself, live my life, follow my dreams, not be invisible, and represent MYSELF, genderflawed though I may be. If you decide to make me your representative, that’s fine with me, but it’s not my responsibility, I don’t want, and I assume Pejic doesn’t, either. He just wants to do what he likes, and why should he stifle his dream because ….someone he doesn’t know might get embarrassed?
You have a lot of self-education to do on the broadness of the gender spectrum and the basic human right to represent oneself as one sees fit. There ARE some people who consider themselves genderless, as inhabiting a midway point, AND as a third (or other) gender, and what gives you the unmitigated gall to say that those gender expressions are less valid than yours when yours isn’t even orthodox?
You can’t just take one or two steps outside of the binary, make your own cute little parody box mimicking the limitations you you and so many others have worked so hard to escape, draw a line that says “I’ve gone far enough! Anyone past this point is a FREEAK!”, and assume that ANYONE, cis, trans, or otherwise, will take YOUR gender expression seriously, or even pay you a shred of respect.
I didn’t want to get mean, but I have to say it- trans people like you, trying to hold back the tides of change in acceptance of gender expression variance, are more dangerous to the movement than the bigoted cispeople we’re struggling against, OR the Pejics of the world that you fear, and you know why? Because your cowardice is infectious. It’s coming from a source on the “inside” of the gender-non-normative community, and young/new GQ people just shaping their worldviews might be looking up to you for guidance, and what you have to say, as ignorant as it may be, just might sound okay and trustworthy to an impressionable mind.
It horrifies me that there are so many people who still say “I may be ___ but at least I’m not one of those despicable ____’s”, because somehow you fail to see that people right now at this very moment saying that about YOU, and it’s making you squirm in your skin, you just can’t STAND it, but you’re doing it to someone else just to feel better about yourself, and it DISGUSTS me. It’s people drawing circles of exclusion like THAT who are enforcing hatred, bigotry, and ignorance. You’re leading the way for people to take three big steps back, and I say, for SHAME.
It’s official. The kid gloves are off. Maybe I’m mean, but I can’t hold back anymore. I’ve been trying to sit back and watch people give their opinions peacefully and with respect, knowing for the most part it doesn’t do any good to to yell back at people, but you know what? I’m entitled to my opinion too, I have a keyboard, and that’s what the comment section is for. It may be ugly and it may be pointless, but god knows it’s therapeutic. So these are the sorts of things I’m shooting all over the internet, and if you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of my raging wall’o’texts, educate yourself before opening your mouth.