Monday, April 1, 2013

You Don't Need to be Trans to Get Discriminated Against (but it helps)

This post is brought to you by the letters LGBT and the numbers April 1-6, 2013.

What that means is there's an LGBT blog hop going on, and Donuts & Desires is taking part. Right here.  Right now.  Do you get a prize?  Of course you do!  More on that later.

As you know if you know me, I write a lot of romance and erotic fiction featuring transgender characters.  If you know me well, you know I have a very personal connection to my trans fiction.  I've had trans and genderqueer friends since high school.

Five years ago, my heart hooked up with an incredible woman. She's a certified geek who owns not one but two Star Trek collector's plates, she looks great in green, she's called "quirky" as
often as I am, and she gets my random references to Pinky and the Brain.  To me, Sweet is the most gorgeous girl in the world.  She makes my heart flutter, even five years in.  And she's trans.

On waaaaaay too many occasions, I've encountered the common and callous misconception that trans women are all the same--they're ugly, they're jokes, they're sub-human, they're drag queens, they're perverts, they're mentally ill, they're men.  The sad thing is, it's often lesbian, gay, and bisexual people spouting this bullshit.  The LGBT "community" is hardly a cohesive unit.  It's sad.  I mean, it's really sad.

We're lucky, here in Canada.  Just recently, legislation was passed ensuring the rights of trans people under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In Ontario, a lot of progress has been made over the past, oh, year or two?  Most notably, it's no longer necessary for trans people to go through "bottom surgery"/Sex Reassignment Surgery/Gender Reassignment Surgery/Gender Affirmation Surgery (there are sooo many names, and everybody has their favourite) before the government will change the gender marker on their ID.

And all that is great.  It is.  But what's even MORE important to me is how my trans friends, my trans partner, and all trans people are treated in real life, not just in legislation.  That's where the whole world lags behind, I'd say.  Trans people (and trans women in particular) are really the last portion of the population that can be openly picked on ANYWHERE with absolutely no reprecussions.  Start a tally of how many times the word "tranny" is used in sitcoms, and you'll understand what I mean.  It's okay to poke fun at those ugly, stupid, misguided perverts.  They're not real people anyway.  Who really cares?

Well... I do.  I care.  I'm sick of seeing trans people denigrated all around me, and when I witness it, I speak out.

That doesn't always go so well.

I've blogged before about losing friends when I started dating a trans woman.  In fact, I lost my BEST friend, the guy I talked to on the phone 4 times a day.  We used to watch TV together, eat meals together, do pretty much everything together.  I couldn't believe what a dickface he turned into when I fell in love with a girl who happened to be trans.  Her trans-ness was ALL he would talk about.  He said the meanest things, constantly.  I couldn't take it.  I told him how much he was hurting me, but he basically said TOO BAD.  He chose transphobia over our friendship.

And that was that.

One thing I haven't mentioned publicly is that I've encountered professional problems, too, for refusing to sit idly by while someone spouted hatred about trans people.  I had a client who sent me a constant stream of work for years.  And then that person made a few comments negatively stereotyping trans women.  I was gentle, I swear!  I didn't go off the deep end.  I tried to educate this client about trans and genderqueer people in the most casual, non-patronizing way possible.

I haven't seen a scrap of work from that client since.  Nothing.

So, I've lost friends and I've lost work for my adament alliance with the trans population, and...

Okay, obviously I'm still a little peeved, but it's not going to keep me from standing tall beside my girlfriend.  The personal and professional reprecussions haven't stopped me yet, and they won't any time soon.  A lot of people are reluctant to admit to their privileges, but being cisgender (meaning not trans) is a huge privilege.  I don't get the same shit thrown at me that my girlfriend does.  Yeah, I get some splatter, standing beside her, but I'm not going anywhere.  I'm here, and I'm holding her hand.

Whoo... that grew into a pretty long blog post, didn't it?  It's an important topic to me, in case you hadn't noticed.

UPDATE: The hop is now closed

Now on to the fun stuff: EVERYBODY WINS! 

That's right, kids.  I'm really glad you've stopped by and I want to give you a free copy of one of my ebooks that happens to star a trans woman.  It's a sweet little reunion story from my Wedding Heat series called "If the Shoes Fit."  To get your free copy, just hop on over to ARe:

And once you've hopped over there, hop on with the hop:

But wait... there's more!  Enter to win a $25 gift card to an ebook retailer of your choice, here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. You have t wonder why ransphobics are so terrified of the mere idea. What does it have to do with them? Why are they so angry and concerned? And yes, I heard the word "tranny" used just two days ago on the sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. But the dimwitted character was the type that would use that word. That doesn't mean I want to hear it.

  2. Yeah, seriously! Gender identity seems to get people much more prickly than sexual identity. I saw that episode of How I Met Your Mother too and all I could think was, "Was that really necessary?" It's such a cheap shot, and it really irritated me.

  3. Thank you for your wonderful post. I've gotten crap from people due to being asexual. I keep getting insensitive jerks who all assume that I was molested or something and that I must hate sex when the truth is I was born this way. People can be assholes, and I'm glad that you are willing to stand up for your love. Thanks for participating!

  4. It's amazing how anything outside a very narrow norm gets demonized or pathologized (or both). I'm sorry people are jerks.

  5. Nice post

    Thanks for participating

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. I liked reading your post and the pictures are perfect. Stereotyping, in any way, is wrong and it must be put out there. I'm so happy you're doing your bit and hey, you're doing a great job! ♥

  7. Great post! Thank you for sharing. I am happy that your country now recognizes people that don't fit into the "norm". I wish ours would be more like that.
    It is sad that in today's society, people are still judged by things like this.
    I agree with Sarkia that you are doing a great job!