Next Meeting: Discussion on Mistakes, Compassion, & Tokenization

The next transcollaborations meeting is THIS Sunday August 26th at noon  @ WRAC.

A personal note: I have been reflecting a lot on this particular topic (see prompt below) over the last few years. As folks embedded in social justice work, it seems self-evident that we are all working towards greater awareness, compassion, and more holistic ways of thinking about oppression and privilege and the many ways that our constellations of identities intersect at different points in our lives, social landscapes, historical moments, etc. However, as folks working within social justice communities, we don’t always set aside space to talk about these issues. I am looking forward to a really fantastic (and important) discussion.

Discussion Prompt: As folks working in trans* communities (and other social justice spaces) how do we “know” when those who have made mistakes in the past have grown and realized their mistakes that are harmful to our communities and antithetical to commitments towards social justice across oppression? Who gets to decide (who is forgiven) and what does that say about power relations that operate in our society and the various points of intersection of identities? How do we know when to be compassionate (or not) towards those who are actively working towards not causing harm to others but still make mistakes?

On a similar but separate note, an unfortunate consequence of being in such a small community in Iowa City is that one trans* person’s perspective is often perceived by others in dominant groups as “the” perspective of trans* communities. In spite of this tokenization, how do we within the trans* community work together and speak from our own experience, challenge the tokenization process, and co-construct community responses when there is disagreement within our group about those public responses to situations, issues, etc.


Posted on August 22, 2012, in bi-monthly meetings, Events. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. issue 1. two edge sword for m2f. most m2f i know don’t want the attention that they are transgender or transexual. they just wanna fit in. so we go to lengths to conceal the fact that we are in the rainbow. however for close kin and knowing friends, it is comforting to have someone to help transition. in my life i have two ggirl helpers that are rather clueless about transgenders. so mistakes are made all the time. i rarely call them on it. i would rather them come around to knowing me as a lady naturally. i think their errors are really my lack of force of personality.

    issue 2. intra friction. i have a transexual friend in florida and we talk on the video phone all the time. we are separated by a number of issues; transgender/transexual, catholic/witch, etc. in fact we could be at each other’s throats i suppose. but that isn’t happening. in fact we are feeling love for each other. being older helps.

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