You Don't Have To Be Proud, Not Every Trans Person Is

You Don't Have To Be Proud, Not Every Trans Person Is

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You don't have to proud to be trans.

You don't have to be proud to show off any surgery scars

You don't have to be proud to document you progress

You don't have to be proud to say you have different parts*** from cisgender males

You don't have to be proud to say you have different parts*** from cisgender females

You don't have to be proud that you may relate more to females

You don't have to be proud that you may relate more to males

You don't have to be proud that you're experiencing puberty again later in life

You don't have to be proud that I may know how a female feels during their time of the month

You don't have to be proud that you may be smaller than most of the cisgender men you know

You don't have to be proud that you're comfortable in your masculinity

You don't have to be proud that you're comfortable in your femininity

You don't have to be proud that you take weekly/bi-weekly/monthly injections

You don't have to be proud that you saved up money to have life changing operations

You don't have to be proud that you chose to not have certain operations

You don't have to be proud when you finally legalize your documents

You don't have to proud that you don't change you legal documents

You don't have to be proud of the pronouns that you feel right with

You don't have to be proud that your friends treat you with decency

You don't have to be proud that your work treats you with decency

You don't have to be proud that your significant other accepts you

You don't have to be proud of your sexuality

You don't have to be proud of your gender-identity

You don't have to be proud of anything

But if you are proud of something it will be for you and only you

You don't speak for anyone else

Nor does anyone else speak for you

You don't have to be proud just because you're trans

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia.org

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If Your Feminism Doesn't Include Trans Women, Then It's Not Feminism

Biology doesn't determine gender and TERFs don't determine who is allowed in feminism.
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Feminism is a movement that stands behind all women being equal to their male peers. This equality is mostly fought for within the workplace for equal pay, in the government for equal rights, and in society as a whole for equal respect. However, feminism has an issue with hypocrisy.

While the ideas behind feminism are rooted in creating equality, there are several sects of feminism that are still exclusionary. Some are white women who actively ignore issues that affect people of color or the Black Lives Matter movement, while others are able-bodied individuals who ignore remarks of their own that are ableist or harmful in general.

Though there is a significant amount of privilege women ignoring issues that feminist should fight for, there is a branch of radical feminism that has hypocrisy not from ignoring issues. Rather, this group is actively working against another group of women who, just like all women, need feminism and should not be actively excluded from the movement.

TERFs, or trans exclusionary radical feminists, are a self-described group of individuals who feel that feminism only belongs to those women who are born with vaginas. These women are typically also aligned with white feminist belief systems of ignoring intersectionality and denying problematic behaviors.

An issue with TERFs as compared to white feminists is that they are self-described, happily admitting to being transphobic. White feminism is usually based on systematic oppression and denial of racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist issues with their movement, while TERFs are active in keeping transgender people out of their movement and women spaces as a whole.

The obvious issue here is that feminism isn't only for cis, able-bodied, straight white women. Trans women need a community and safe spaces as much, if not more so than cis women. Though, this should go without saying, trans women are not in women spaces or part of a feminist movement solely to prey on cis women.

Women who weren't assigned female at birth are not men. Those who insist that they are and that trans women are predatory are only alienating their sisters in the feminist fight. Feminism needs to include everyone since the end goal is equality among those of all varying backgrounds. Excluding even one group from feminism is against the progress that wants to be inclusionary for all.

Again, TERFs and white feminists, while there is definite overlap, differ greatly in their intent of exclusion. White feminists choose to ignore and deny problematic behavior, while TERFs are active in their oppression and exclusion.

Excluding someone due to their assigned gender at birth from feminist space is not okay and anyone who disagrees with that statement is not a feminist working in the correct direction for progress. Feminism is working together and accepting all of those who need feminism or who support the idea of equality.

A vagina doesn't equate womanhood or the value of a woman, seeing as there are several individuals with vaginas who aren't women and women without vaginas. Equating the two things isn't only arbitrary, it's against the core ideals of feminism.

Transphobia and trans exclusion have no place within feminism.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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A Transgender Man Has Joined A Campaign To Battle Period Shaming

Gender is not determined by anatomy.
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Periods are a topic that makes many people uncomfortable because it is seen as something taboo and disgusting that we should pretend does not exist. When someone is on their period, they are expected to hide their products as they go to the bathroom out of courtesy to the people around them. However, this stigma may be reduced thanks to Pink Parcels, a UK-based tampon subscription box service.

Pink Parcels has created the “I’m On” campaign, which is meant to encourage conversation about periods and eliminate the shame surrounding this natural part of life. “I’m On” has gone viral because of Kenny Jones, the first transgender male model fronting a period campaign. This is monumental because it brings attention to the fact that periods are not exclusively experienced by women.

The campaign features Jones with women such as British fashion designer Olivia Rubin and activist Natalie Lee. They are all seen advertising shirts with slogans like “I’m On. Period.” and “I’m on and I’m strong.” Seven dollars from each purchase will be donated to the Bloody Good Period organization, which aids in supplying menstrual products to refugees and others in need of them.

Jones speaking about his experience with his period through the “I’m On” campaign provides the transgender community with the representation that they need. He explained that he had a difficult relationship with his period because even though it would make him feel annoyed, it also gave him a greater understanding of what he wanted. He also went on to say,

“I didn’t want my period and there was a lot of confusion within myself. It did make me realize that periods weren’t something I wanted to happen to me and it motivated and pushed me to further my transition.”

The only way that periods can be normalized is by having conversations about how it affects different people and this was what inspired Jones to become a part of the “I’m On” campaign. He said that he used to never feel comfortable talking about his period because of how our society is against openly speaking about them. Being on your period is seen as a sign of weakness, and is often used as an insult towards someone when they are acting irrational, despite the fact that it is just a normal biological process. Jones stated that

“Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.”

Even though Jones no longer bleeds, his perspective on having a period is valuable and should be welcomed. Many people believe that only women are capable of menstruating and that even if it is a transgender man menstruating, he is still a woman because of it. This could not be farther from the truth because a person’s gender is not decided based off of their physical parts, but rather their internal identity.

Jones believes that transgender men “should feel more comfortable discussing periods with one another,” and I believe that his decision to be a part of the “I’m On” campaign will inspire many transgender men to open up about their own menstruation stories.

Cover Image Credit: Pink Parcel

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